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Addresses and Discourses 



Rector of St. Luke's church, Washington, d. C. 

Author of "Future of Africa;" and "The Greatness of Christ, 

and other Sermons." 




Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1891 


in the office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C. 

All Rights Reserved. 


THIS book is published at the instance of many- 
friends, some of them old school-mates, who have 
wished to see its several papers collected in a single 
volume. I venture, in all candour, to add that I have 
myself desired its publication because I have thought 
that the views and opinions it contains may be of value 
to the Negro Race, in this land. 

The Reader will see that I have disregarded the 
order of time in the setting of these addresses. They 
are arranged, mainly, according to the author's con- 
viction of their relative importance to the people to 
whom they refer. 

The first paper was delivered at the commencement 
of "Storer College," W Va., in 1885. It happened 
that my distinguished neighbour, Hon. Frederick 
Douglass, was one of the audience on that occasion. 
The leading thought of the address — the shifting of 
general thought from past servitude, to duty and service, 


in the present ; — met with his emphatic and most earnest 
protest. He took occasion, on the instant, to urge his 
hearers to a constant recollection of the slavery of their 
race and of the wrongs it had brought upon them. 

The whole subject is, without doubt, a matter of first- 
rate importance. I apprehend that we cannot take a 
step forward for advancement, until we arrive at right 
convictions upon the point, viz., — "What are the primal 
ideas which shall command our attention? What shall 
be the absorbing themes of thought and action, in this 
race in our day and generation." 

Anxious that our leading minds should ponder and 
discuss this topic, I have put it in the foremost place in 
the volume; to invite attention to it, and to elicit 

My own conviction is not only unchanged : it be- 
comes more deeply rooted as I get more and more 
acquainted with the condition of the Race, their supreme 
difficulties, their vast needs, and the large demands, 
social, civil, educational and religious, which are con- 
stantly gathering around them. 

This great problem, it seems to me, should engage 
their best thought, and stimulate their noblest endeav- 

The papers relating to Africa are republished be- 
cause of the Author's interest in that great continent, 


and in the stirring movements of the times for its 
development and evangelization. 

Many of the measures put forth to these ends, are, 
without doubt, questionable, and must be modified ; and 
some of them will yet, without doubt, be. entirely repu- 
diated ! 

But Africa differs in no respect from all the other 
sections of the great human family. If she is ever re- 
generated the influences and agencies to this end must 
come from external sources. Civilization is always, in 
its first outgrowths, among rude peoples, an exotic. 
It never springs up, spontaneously, in any new land. 
It must be transplanted from an old to a new soil. 
Archbishop Whately says : — " There is no one instance 
recorded of any of them rising into a civilized condition, 
or indeed, rising at all, without instruction and assist- 
ance from people already civilized." * 

A further reason for republishing the papers relative 
to Africa is my deep interest in the Republic of Liberia. 

It is very common now-a-days to hear this little Re- 
public referred to as evidencing the incapacity of the 
Negro Race for free government ! And nothing is more 
constant, nothing more frequent than the declaration 
that — " Liberia is a failure !" 

Now I venture to say — and I say it without the least 

* Archbishop Whateley's " Miscellaneous Lectures and Reviews." — Organ of Civil- 
ization, London, 1861. 

v i. PREFACE. 

hesitation, that nothing can be more ignorant, nothing 
more stupid than these utterances ; whether they slip 
from the pens of Civilians, or drop from the lips of 
grave Senators in the Halls of Congress. 

If any man, of the simplest common sense, will pause 
and consider the humble origin of Liberia ; will call to 
remembrance the utter illiteracy of nine tenths of its 
settlers ; that these settlers— but children in knowledge, 
were transferred, in the brief circuit of a moon's change, 
from the ignorant plantations of America to the wilds of 
Africa ; that for years there was not a single scholar of 
their number to guide them in their governmental ex- 
periment ; that they set up the standard of nationality 
in utter ignorance of the Science of Government and 
of Political Economy ; that their numbers have never, 
at any time, reached twenty thousand persons, and they, 
for the most part ignorant slaves ; that sickness and 
suffering, poverty and death have been the constant 
visitants of every emigration to their fatherland ; that 
their entire political life has been a ceaseless warfare ; 
now, with lawless and piratical slave-traders, and now, 
with barbarous and sanguinary tribes ; now, with brutal 
and unscrupulous foreign traders, and unceasingly, with 
a pestilential clime :— if, I say, he will take these facts 
into consideration he will see not only that the sneer of 
failure, is a contemptible and mendacious libel, but that 

PREFACE. # vii. 

Liberia is one of the marvels of modern history ! Yea 
but little short of a miracle ! 

Liberia is poor, weak and feeble. Her persistent life 
is ever a perpetual, but, nevertheless, an effectual 
struggle ! 

Never in the history of man has a nation been set up 
of such slender materials and of such poor resources ; 
and that amid wild barbarism ! 

Liberia may yet die ! But, if she dies, the future 
Historian, if he is just and honorable, will chronicle the 
fact with the candid avowal : — " The wonderful thing 
about Liberia is that it ever reached national life: — and 
only next to this, is the fact, that that life was as long- 
continued and as effective as it was" ! 

ING," caused, in several quarters, severe criticism. The 
wide subsequent demand for industrial training, seems 
to me to have justified its publication. 

I submit this volume to the thought and judgment of 
its readers, with the hope that it may prove an instru- 
ment for influence and progress among my people. 

Washington, D. C, June, 1891. 


The Need of New Ideas and New- Motives Page 
for a New Era, . . . . . . n 

The Race-Problem in America, 37 

The Black Woman of the South : her neglects 

and her needs, ' . 59 

Defence of the Negro Race in America, . 83 

The Responsibility of the First Fathers of a 

Country, for their future life and destiny, 127 

Our National Mistakes, and the remedy for 

them, ,165 

Eulogy on Thomas Clarkson, Esq., the Aboli- 
tionist, of England, 199 

Eulogy on Rev. Henry Highland Garnett, 

D.D., 269 

Address before the American Geographical 
Society, on the King of Belgium's Congo 
State, 307 

io. Common Sense in Common Schooling, . .325 

11. Excellence, an end of the trained Intellect, 343 

12. Right-Mindedness, 355 

13. The Dignity of Labour, and its value to a 

new people, 379 

14. Emigration, an aid to the civilization of Africa. 405 

15. The Regeneration of Africa, . . . • 43 1 

16. Address at the Laying of the Corner Stone of 

The New # St. Thomas Church, Philadel- 
phia, Pa., 455 

The Need of 

New Ideas and New Aims 

for a New Era. 

An Address to the Graduating Class of Storer College, 
Harper's Ferry, West Va., May 30th, 1885. 


I take it for granted that the young men and women 
who close their pupilage here to-day are thinking not 
only of their own personal life desires, but, also, of the 
destinies of the people with whom they are connected. 
In such a place as this, full of the most thrilling memo- 
ries in the history of our race, it seems impossible that 
any of you could possibly pass over such thoughts. 
The very hills here seem brezzy with the memories and 
the purposes of old John Brown. And so tragic and so 
august are those memories and purposes, so vivid, too, 
is the imagination of man, that there is danger not 
only that the youthful, but even the elder, mind should 
be carried back with constant and absorbing interest, 
especially in those memories and purposes. 

But let me remind you here that, while indeed we do 
live in two worlds, the world of the past and the world 
of the future, DUTY lies in the future. It is in life as it 
is on the street : the sentinel DUTY, like the policeman, 
is ever bidding man " Pass on ! " We can, indeed, get 
inspiration and instruction in the yesterdays of existence, 
but we cannot healthily live in them. We can send 


back sorrows and repentances to the past. We can, by 
the magic touch of Fancy, summon the tragedies and 
comedies of by-gone days ; but the sense of obliga- 
tion, the ideas of responsibility, all pertain to the time 
to come. It is on this account that I beg to call your 
attention to-day, to — " The NEED OF NEW IDEAS AND 

The subject divides itself in two heads: — 

ist. The need suggested, and 2nd, the aims for a 
new era, which shall meet the need. 

I choose this topic because it seems to me that there 
is an irresistible tendency in the Negro mind in this 
land to dwell morbidly and absorbingly upon the ser- 
vile past. The urgent needs of the present, the fast- 
crowding and momentous interests of the future appear 
to be forgotten. Duty for to-day, hope for the mor- 
row, are ideas which seem oblivious to even leading 
minds among us. I fear there is a general incapacity 
to reach forward to a position and the acquisitions 
which are in advance of our times. Enter the schools, 
and the theme which too generally occupies the youth- 
ful mind is some painful memory of servitude. Listen 
to the voices of the pulpit, and how large a portion of 
its utterances are pitched in the same doleful strain ! 
Send a man to Congress, and observe how seldom pos- 
sible it is for him to speak upon any other topic than 
slavery. We are fashioning our life too much after the 
conduct of the children of Israel. Long after the 
exodus from bondage, long after the destruction of 
Pharaoh and his host, they kept turning back, in mem- 


ory and longings, after Egypt, when they should have 
kept both eye and aspiration bent toward the land of 
promise and of freedom. 

Now I know, my brethren, that all this is natural to 
man. God gave us judgment, fancy and memory, and 
we cannot free ourselves from the inherence of these or 
of any other faculty of our being. But the great poet 
tells us that " man is a being who looks before and 
after." There is a capacity in human nature for pres- 
cience. We were made to live in the future as well as 
in the past. The qualities both of hope and imagina- 
tion carry us to the regions which lie beyond us. But 
both hope and imagination are qualities which seem 
dismissed from the common mind among us ; and 
many of our leaders of thought seem to settle down 
in the dismal swamps of dark and distressful mem- 

And nothing can be more hurtful for any people 
than such a habit as this. For to dwell upon repulsive 
things, to hang upon that which is dark, direful, and 
saddening, tends, first of all, to morbidity and degene- 
racy. Accustom this race to constant reminiscence of 
its degradation and its sorrow, bring before your own 
minds or the minds of the rising generation, as a per- 
petual study and contemplation, the facts of servitude 
and inferiority, and its mind will, of necessity, be ever 

"Sickled o'er with the pale caste of thought;" 

and there will be a constant tendency to 

"Nurse the dreadful appetite of death! " 


And next to this comes the intellectual narrowness 
v/hich results from a narrow groove of thought. For 
there are few things which tend so much to dwarf a 
people as the constant dwelling upon personal sorrows 
and interests, whether they be real or imaginary. We 
have illustrations of this fact both at home and abroad. 
The Southern people of this nation have given as evi- 
dent signs of genius and talent as the people of the 

If we go back to Colonial times, if we revert to the 
early history of the nation, we see in them, as conspic- 
uous evidence of intellectual power, in law, in capa- 
bility of government, in jurisprudence, in theology, in 
poetry, and in art, as among their more northern 
brethren. But for nigh three generations they gave 
themselves up to morbid and fanatical anxieties upon 
the subject of slavery. To that one single subject they 
gave the whole bent and sharpness of their intellect. 
And history records the direful result. For nigh sixty 
years have "laws and letters, art and learning," died 
away; and we can hardly discover the traces of any 
conspicuous genius or originality among them. So, 
too, the people of Ireland. For a century and more 
they have been indulging in the expensive luxury of 
sedition and revolution. As a portion of the great 
Celtic people of Europe, they are an historic race, alike 
in character and in genius. They are mercurial, poetic 
and martial, and in some of the lands of their heritage 
they have shown large powers for governmental control. 
But in Ireland, sterility has been a conspicuous feature 


of their intellectual life. The mind of the whole nation 
has been dwarfed and shriveled by morbid concentra- 
tion upon an intense and frenzied sense of political 
wrong, and an equally intense and frenzied purpose of 
retaliation. And commerce, industry, and manufac- 
tures, letters and culture, have died away from them. 
And while, indeed, shrieking constantly for freedom, 
their idea of freedom has become such a*n impractica- 
ble and contemptuous thing that it has challenged the 
sneer of the poet, who terms it 

" The school-boy heat, 
The blind hysterics of the Celt." 

If men will put themselves in narrow and straight- 
ened grooves, if they will morbidly divorce themselves 
from large ideas and noble convictions, they are sure 
to bring distress, pettiness, and misery into their being ; 
for the mind of man was made for things grand, ex- 
alted, and majestic. 

For 200 years the misfortune of the black race has 
been the confinement of its mind in the pent-up prison 
of human bondage. The morbid, absorbing and abidr 
ing recollection of that condition — what is it but the 
continuance of that same condition, in memory and 
dark imagination? Dwell upon, reproduce, hold on to 
it with all its incidents, make its history the sum and 
acme of thought, and then, of a surety, you put up a 
bar to progress, and eventually produce that unique 
and fossilated state which is called " arrested develop- 
ment." For it is impossible for a people to progress 


in the conditions o.f civilization whose thought and 
interest are swallowed up in morbid memories, or nar- 
rowed to the groove of a single idea or purpose. I am 
asked, perchance, would you have us as a people forget 
that we have been an oppressed race? I reply, that 
God gave us memory, and it is impossible to forget the 
slavery of our race. The memory of this fact may 
ofttimes serve as a stimulant to high endeavor. It may 
act, by contrast, as a suggestive of the best behests of 
freedom. We are forced, not seldom, to revert to our 
former servile state in defence of the race, against the 
unreasoning traducers who, not unfrequently, impute to 
us a natural inferiority, which is simply the result of 
that former servile state. What I would fain have you 
guard against is not the memory of slavery, but the 
constant recollection of it, as the commanding thought 
of a new people, who should be marching on to the 
broadest freedom of thought in a new and glorious 
present, and a still more magnificent future. You will 
notice here that there is a broad distinction between 
memory and recollection. Memory, you will observe, 
is a passive act of the mind. It is the necessary and 
unavoidable entrance, storage and recurrence of facts 
and ideas to the understanding and the consciousness. 

Recollection, however, is the actual seeking of the 
facts, is the painstaking endeavor of the mind to bring 
them back again to consciousness. The natural recur- 
rence of the idea or the fact of slavery is that which 
cannot be faulted. What I object to is the unnecessary 
recollection of it. This pernicious habit I protest 

The need of new ideas and new aims. 19 

against as most injurious and degrading. As slavery- 
was a degrading thing, the constant recalling of it to 
the mind serves, by the law of association, to degrada- 
tion. Words are vital things. They are always gener- 
ative of life or death. They cannot enter the soul as 
passive and inoperative things. Archbishop Trench, 
referring to the brutal poverty of the language of the 
savage, says — "There is nothing that so effectually 
tends to keep him in the depth to which he has fallen. 
You cannot impart to any man more than the words 
which he understands either now contain, or can be 
made, intelligibly to him, to contain. Language is as 
truly on one side the limit and restraint of thought, as 
on the other side that which feeds and unfolds it."* 
My desire is that we should escape "the limit and re- 
straint" of both the word and the thought of slavery. 
As a people, we have had an exodus from it. We have 
been permitted by a gracious Providence to enter the 
new and exalted pathways of freedom. The thought, 
the routine, the usages, and calculations of that old 
system are dead things ; absolutely alien from the con- 
ditions in which life presents itself to us in our disen- 
thralled and uplifted state. We have new conditions 
of life and new relations in society. The great facts of 
family, of civil life> of the Church, of the State, meet 
us at every turn ; not lightly and as ephemeral things, 
but as permanent and abiding realities ; as organic in- 
stitutions, to be transmitted, in our blood to live, to the 

* " Trench on Words." — Introductory Lecture. 


latest generations. From these relations spring majes- 
tic duties which come upon us 

" With a weight — 
Heavy as death, and deep almost as life." 

These changed circumstances bring to us an immense 
budget of new thoughts, new ideas, new projects, new 
purposes, new ambitions, of which our fathers never 
thought. We have hardly space in our brains for the 
old conditions of life. God "has called into existence 
a new world," to use the language of CANNING, "to 
redress the balance of the old." 

We have need, therefore, of new adjustments in life. 
The law of fitness comes up before us just now with 
tremendous power, and we are called upon, as a people, 
to change the currents of life, and to shift them into 
new and broader channels. 

Says^an old poet: — 

" The noble soul by age grows lustier, 
Her appetite and her digestion mend; 
We cannot hope to feed and pamper her 
With women's milk and pap unto the end ! 
Provide you manlier diet ! " 

I have thus attempted to show the need "of new 
ideas, new aims and new ambitions for the new era" on 
which we have entered. 

2. And now, in the second place, allow mc to make 
the attempt to suggest some of these new ideas which 
I think should be entertained by us. 

Before passing to them, let me §ay that it is hardly 
possible to ignore one or two of the especial ambitions 


which now-a-days command wide attention in certain 
classes among us, and in which I fear we are making 
great mistakes. I do lament the political ambitions 
which seem the craze of very many young minds 
among us. Not, indeed, because I expect the continu- 
ance of that caste in politics, which is the extension of 
that social caste which is the disgrace of American 
society; but because I dislike always to witness a use- 
less expenditure of forces. For, for a long time, the 
political ambitions of colored men are sure to end in 
emptiness. And, if so, men will waste energies and 
powers which might be expended profitably in other 
directions. I expect, I desire, and when the fitting 
time arrives, it will be ours then to demand all the pre- 
rogatives and all the emoluments which belong- to 
American citizenship, according to our fitness and our 
ability ; and without let or hindrance, because of race 
or former condition. At the same time, I must remind 
you here that no new people leap suddenly and spon- 
taneously into Senatorial chairs or Cabinet positions. 
So narrow have been the limitations of our culture, so 
brief, too, the period of our opportunity, that it is im- 
possible, if even we had the highest genius, that we 
should mount the high rounds of the ladder of judicial 
or statesmanlike capacity. There is no such thing pos- 
sible as intuitive apprehension of state-craft or the ex- 
temporaneous solution of the intricate problems of law. 
The road by which a people reach grand administrative 
ability is a long road, now full of deep ruts, and now 
formidable with its steep acclivities, jagged and rugged 


in all its pathways, and everywhere obstructed with 
thorns and briers. 

The only means by which its formidable difficulties 
may be overcome are time, and arduous labor, and 
rugged endurance, and the quiet apprenticeship in 
humble duties, and patient waiting, and the clear dem- 
onstration of undoubted capacities. All these I am 
certain the black man of this country can eventually 
present as racial qualities. But it is well to remember 
that they are not the product of a day; that they 
cannot be made to spring up, gourd-like, in a night 
season. And hence, you will take no offense if I 
venture to say that you can leave, for a little while 
at least, all idea of being President of the United 
States, or even of being sent as Minister to the Court 
of St. James. 

Equally skeptical am I as to the manifest desire 
which I see in many quarters for addiction to aestheti- 
cal culture as a special vocation of the race in this 
country. It is an aptitude, I acknowledge, constitu- 
tional to the race, and it cannot be ignored. After two 
hundred years' residence in the higher latitudes, we are 
still a tropical race ; and the warmth of the central 
regions constantly discovers itself in voice and love of 
harmonies, both those which appeal to the eye by 
color, and those which affect the sensibilities through 
the ear. Such an aboriginal quality is not to be disre- 
garded, and I do not disregard it. All I desire to say 
is that there is something higher in life than inclination, 
however indigenous it may be. Taste and elegance, 


albeit natural cravings, are always secondary to the 
things absolute and necessary. 

There are circumstances constantly occurring wnere- 
in we are bound to ignore the strongest bent of nature 
and yield to the manifest currents of Providence. 
There are, moreover, primal duties in life, to which all 
other things must give way. Art and culture must 
yield to these needs. It is not necessary Jthat we should 
debase our natural qualities. But style and beauty are 
secondary to duty^and moral responsibility. Men can- 
not live on flowers. Society cannot be built up upon 
the strength which comes from rose-water. While I 
have the firmest conviction that the black race in this 
country will, eventually, take rank among the very 
highest in the several spheres of art, I am equally con- 
vinced that the great demand of this day is for the 
homely industries among us ; that a premature addic- 
tion to it will be morally disastrous, that, as a people, 
we should be careful to avoid a useless expenditure of 
our strength and our. resources. 

What, then, are the special needs of this race? 
What are the grand necessities which call for the earli- 
est recognition and solicitude? 

We find our answer to these queries in the discovery 
of the deadliest breaches made in the character of our 
people. We all recognize the evident harm we have 
suffered in the times of servitude ; and hence arises the 
duty of seeking reparation for them. But to this end 
we must single out the sorest calamities and the dead- 
liest wounds these injuries have left behind, 


Now I do not ignore the intellectual evils which have 
fallen upon us. Neither am I indifferent to the politi- 
cal disasters we are still suffering. But when I take a 
general survey of our race in the United States I can- 
not avoid the conclusion, 

1st. That there are evils which lie deeper than intel- 
lectual neglect or political injury; and 2d, that to pass 
over the deeper maladies which destroy a man or a 
people, to attend to evils less virulent in their effects, 
shows the greatest unwisdom. "That the soul should 
be without knowledge is not good;" but wide attention 
is given to the schooling and instruction of the black 
population of the land ; and there need be no fear that 
the race can relapse into its former ignorance and 
benightedness. And next, with regard to political 
rights, — they are grand prerogatives, and to be highly 
prized. But do not forget that manhood has been 
reached even under great civil deprivations. Even in 
the times of the Caesars, St. Paul could exhort men in 
"the city of God" — "Quit you like men, be strong!"* 
And the first Christians, under greater civil disabilities 
than ours, were the grandest of their kind. 

The three special points of weakness in our race at 
this time are, I apprehend: — 

i. The status of the family. 

2. The conditions of labor. 

3. The element of morals. 

It is my firm conviction that it is our duty to ad- 
dress ourselves more earnestly to the duties involved 

*l Cor., 16; 13. 


in these considerations than to any and all other 


I shall not pause to detail the calamities which 
slavery has entailed upon our race in the domain of the 
family. Every one knows how it has pulled down 
every pillar and shattered every priceless 'fabric. But 
now we have begun the life of freedom, we should 
attempt the repair of this, the noblest of all the struct- 
ures of human life. For the basis of all human pro- 
gress 'and of all civilization is the family. Despoil the 
idea of family, assail rudely its elements, its framework 
and its essential principles, and nothing but degenera- 
tion and barbarism can come to any people. Just here, 
then, we have got to begin the work of reconstruction 
and up-building. Nothing, next to religion, can com- 
pare with the work which is to be done in this sphere. 
Placed beside this, all our political anxieties are but a 
triviality. For if you will think but for a moment all 
that is included in this word family y you will see at 
once that it is the root idea of all civility, of all the 
humanities, of all organized society. For, in this single 
word are included all the loves, the cares, the sym- 
pathies, the solicitudes of parents and wives and hus- 
bands ; all the active industries, the prudent economies 
and the painful self-sacrifices of households; all the 
sweet memories, the gentle refinement, the pure speech 
and the godly anxieties of womanhood ; all the endur- 
ance, the courage and the hardy toil of men ; all the 


business capacity and the thrifty pertinacity of trades 
and artisanship and mechanism ; and all the moral and 
physical contributions of multitudinous habitations to 
the formation of towns and communities and cities, for 
the formation of states, commonwealth, churches and 
empires. All these have their roots in the family. 
Alas ! how widely have these traits and qualities been 
lost to our race in this land ! How numerous are the 
households where they have never been known or 
recognized ! How deficient in manifold quarters, even 
now, a clear conception of the grandeur of the idea of 
family ! And yet this is the beginning of every people's 
true life. See where the forerunner of the Christian 
system aimed to plant the germs of the rising faith of 
Jesus — "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to 
the children, and the heart of the children to the 
fathers."* For the beginning of all organized society 
is in the family ! The school, the college, the pro- 
fessions, suffrage, civil office, are all valuable things ; 
but what are they compared to the FAMILY? 

Here, then, where we have suffered the greatest of 
our disasters, is a world-wide field for thought and in- 
terest, for intellectual anxieties and the most intelligent 


Turn to another and, in its material aspects, a kin- 
dred subject. I refer to the industrial conditions of the 
black race in this nation. No topic is exciting more 

*Luke i; 17. 


interest and anxiety than the labor question. Almost 
an angry contest is going on upon tne relations of cap- 
ital to labor. Into this topic all the other kindred 
questions of wages, hours of labor, co-operation, dis- 
tribution of wealth, all are dragged in, canvassed, phil- 
osophized upon in behalf of the labor element of the 
country. All the activity of the keenest intellects is 
employed in this regard ; but all, I may say exclusively, 
for the white labor of this great nation. 

And yet here is the fact, that this white labor is or- 
ganized labor, it is intelligent labor, it is skilled labor, 
it is protected labor, protected in a majority of the 
States by legislative enactments. It is labor nourished, 
guarded, shielded, rooted in national institutions, prop- 
ped up by the suffrage of the laboring population, and 
needs no extraordinary succors. And yet here is the 
fact, that this immense system of labor, with all its in- 
telligence and its safeguards, is dissatisfied, querulous 
and complaining; and everywhere, and especially in 
the great centres of industry, agonistic and belligerent, 
because it is fretting under a deep sense of inequality, 
wrong, and injustice. But, my friends, just look at the 
black labor of this country, and consider its sad con- 
ditions, its disorganized and rude characteristics, its 
almost servile status, its insecure and defenseless abject- 

What gives labor, in any land, dignity and healthi- 
ness? It is the qualities of skill and enlightenment. It 
is only by these qualities men can work in the best 
manner, witlTthe least waste, for the largest remunera.- 


tion, and with the most self-command. Where the 
laborer is crude, blind, uninformed and merely me- 
chanical in his work,, there he knows labor somewhat 
as an animal does ; and he is led almost blindly to the 
same dull, animal-like endurance of toil, which is the 
characteristic of the beast of the field. His work, more- 
over, is not self-directed ; for it has no inward spring. 
It is not the outcome of the knowing mind and the 
trained and cunning hand. It is labor directed by over- 
seeing and commanding skill and knowledge. Multi- 
tudes in every land under the sun know labor precisely 
in the same way domestic animals do. They know the 
mere physical toil. They know the severest tasks. 
They know the iron routine of service. They know the 
soulless submission of drudgery. But, alas ! they have 
never come to know the dignity of labor ; never been 
permitted to share its golden values and its lofty 

Now, if I do not make the very greatest of mistakes, 
this is the marked peculiarity of the black labor of this 
country. I am not unmindful of the fact that the 
black man is a laborer. I repel the imputation that 
the race, as a class, is lazy and slothful. I know, too, 
that, to a partial extent, the black man, in the Southern 
States, is a craftsman, especially in the cities. I am 
speaking now of aggregates. I am looking at the race 
in the mass ; and I affirm that the sad peculiarity of 
our labor in this country is that our labor is rude, 
untutored, and debased. Let any man examine the 
diverse crafts of labor in the multitudinous businesses 

the need of new ideas and new aims. 29 

in which men are employed; the almost numberless 
trades ; the heterogeneous callings and the multiform 
manufactures, which go to make up the industrial 
civilization of this vast nation ; and then see the scores, 
nay, hundreds, of these careers from which the black 
man is purposely and inexorably excluded; and then 
you will take in the fact, that the black labor of this 
land is, of necessity, crude, unskilled, and disorganized 
labor. And remember here that I am speaking of no 
less than two millions of men, and women and children ; 
for, to a large extent, black women and children are 
the laborers of the South, and still work in field and 

Join to this the thought of its sad conditions, its ser- 
vile status and its defenseless abjectness. Here is the 
fact that tens of thousands of men and women of our 
race are toiling, have been toiling for years, for men 
who never think of paying them the worth and value 
of their toil, — men who systematically "keep back the 
hire of the laborer by fraud;" men who skillfully and 
ingeniously, at the close of every year, bring their 
ignorant laborers into debt to themselves; men who 
purposely close the portals of all hope, and " shut the 
gates of mercy" upon the victims of their fraud, and 
so drive hundreds and thousands of our people into 
theft and reckless indifference, and many thousands 
more into despair and premature graves ! 

Here, then, is a great problem which is to be settled 
before this race can make the advance of a single step. 
Without the solution of this enormous question, neither 


individual nor family life can secure their proper con- 
ditions in this land. Who are the men who shall un- 
dertake the settlement of this momentous question? 
How are they to bring about the settlement of it? I 
answer, first of all, that the rising intelligence of this 
race, the educated, thinking, scholarly men, who come 
out of the schools trained and equipped by reading and 
culture ; they are the men who are to handle this great 
subject. Who else can be expected to attempt it? Do 
y~u thir \ that men of other races will encourage our 
cultivated men to parade themselves as mere carpet 
knights upon the stage of politics, or, in the saloons of 
aestheticism, and they, themselves, assume the added 
duty of the moral and material restoration of our race? 
Whereever has philanthropy shown itself thus over- 
officious and superserviceable? Never in the history 
of man has it either assumed superfluous cares or 
...ndulged a people in irresponsible diversions. The 
philanthropists of the times expect every people to 
bear somewhat the burdens of their own restoration and 
upbuilding; and rightly so. And next, as to the other 
uestion — How this problem of labor is to be settled? 
I reply, in all candor, that I am unable to answer so 
intricate a question. But this I do say, ( I ) that you 
have got to bring to the settlement of it all the brain- 
power, all the penetration, all the historical reading 
and all the generous devotedness of heart that you can 
command; and (2) that in the endeavor to settle this 
question that you are not to make the mistake, i. e., 
that it is external forces which are chiefly to be brought 


to bear upon this enormity. No people can be lifted 
up by others to grand civility. The elevation of a 
people, their thorough civilization, comes chiefly from 
internal qualities. If there is no receptive and living 
quality in them which can be evoked for their elevation, 
then they must die ! The emancipation of the black 
race in this land from the injustice and grinding' tyranny 
of their labor servitude is to be effected mainly by the 
development of such personal qualities, such thrift, 
energy and manliness, as shall, in the first place, raise 
them above the dependence and the penury of their 
present vassalage, and next, shall bring forth such man- 
liness and dignity in the race as may command the 
respect of their oppressors. 

To bring about these results we need intelligent men 
and women, so filled with philanthropy that they will 
go down to the humblest conditions of their race, and 
carry to their lowly huts and cabins all the resources of 
science, all the suggestions of domestic, social and 
political economies, all the appliances of school, and 
industries, in order to raise and elevate the most abject 
and needy race on American soil. If the scholarly and 
enlightened colored men and women care not to devote 
themselves to these lowly but noble duties, to these 
humble but sacred conditions, what is the use of their 
schooling and enlightenment? Why, in the course of 
Providence, have they had their large advantages and 
their superior opportunities? 

3. I bring to your notice one other requireme. of 
the black race in this country, and th?t is th v™d of a 


higher plane of morality. I make no excuse for intro- 
ducing so delicate and, perchance, so offensive a topic 
— a topic which necessarily implies a state of serious 
moral defectiveness. But if the system of slavery did 
not do us harm in every segment and section of our 
being, why have we for generations complained of it? 
And if it did do us moral as well as intellectual harm, 
why, when attempting by education to rectify the injury 
to the mental nature, should we neglect the reparation 
of the moral condition of the race ? We have suffered, 
my brethren, in the whole domain of morals. We are 
still suffering as a people in this regard. Take the 
sanctity of marriage, the facility of divorce, the chastity 
of woman, the shame, modesty and bashfulness of girl- 
hoodj the abhorrence of illegitimacy; and there is no 
people in this land who, in these regards, have received 
such deadly thrusts as this race of ours. And these 
qualities are the grandest qualities of all superior 
people. You know, as well as I do, how these qualities 
are insisted upon in Holy Scripture, and there is no 
need of my referring to it. But some of you here are 
scholars. You have moistened your lips with the 
honey of the classics. You have perchance, strength- 
ened your powers with the robustness of Tacitus ; and 
you may remember how he refers, in plaintive, melan- 
choly tones, to the once virile power of Roman man- 
hood, and the chaste beauty and excellence of its 
womanhood, and mourns their sad decline. And, 
doubtless, you have felt the deepest interest in the 
simple but ingenious testimony he bears to the prim- 



itive virtues of the Germanic tribes, pagan though they 
were, and which have proven the historic basis of their 
eminence and unfailing grandeur. And these are les- 
sons to us, by which we may be taught that the true 
grandeur of a people is not to be found in their civil 
status, in their political franchises, in armaments and 
navies, not even in letters and culture. More than one 
are the histories which may be found where people had 
all these ; and then, even in the height of their renown, 
were standing on the brink, whence they were precip- 
itated" into ruin ! Other histories, however, may be 
found in which we can see that people simple, un- 
trained and unadorned have been robust and virtuous; 
have bred brave and truthful men and chaste and 
beauteous women ; have carefully preserved the purity 
of their families, the simplicity of their manners and 
reverence for law. And these excellencies have not 
only shown "their wisdom and understanding in the 
sight of the nations," but have also made them 
immortal ! 

This moral elevation should be the highest ambition 
of our people. They make the greatest mistakes who 
tell you that money is the master need of our race. 
They equally err who would fain fasten your attention 
upon the acknowledged political difficulties which con- 
front us in the lawless sections of the land. I acknowl- 
edge both of these grievances. But the one grand 
result of all my historic readings' has brought to me 
this single and distinct conviction, that 

" By the soul only the nations shall be free," 


If I do not greatly err, I have made it evident to-day 
that a mighty revolution is demanded in our race in 
this country. The whole status of our condition is to 
be transformed and elevated. The change which is 
demanded is a vaster deeper one than that of emanci- 
pation. That was a change of state or condition, val- 
uable and important indeed, but affecting mainly the 
outer conditions of this people. And that is all a civil 
status can do, how beneficent soever it may be. But 
outward condition does not necessarily touch the 
springs of life. That requires other, nobler, more 
spiritual agencies. How true are the words of Cole- 
ridge: — 

" I may not hope from outward things to win 
The passion and the life, whose fountains are within." 

What we need is a grand moral revolution which 
shall touch and vivify the inner life of a people, which 
shall give them dissatisfaction with ignoble motives and 
sensual desires, which shall bring to them a resurrection 
from inferior ideas and lowly ambitions ; which shall 
shed illumination through all the chambers of their 
souls, which shall lift them up to lofty aspirations, which 
shall put them in the race for manly moral superiority. 

A revolution of this kind is not a gift which can be 
handed over by one people, and placed as a new 
deposit, in the constitution of another. Nor is it an 
acquisition to be gained by storm, by excitement or 
frantic and convulsive agitation, political, religious or 


The revolution I speak of is one which must find 

its primal elements in qualities, latent though they be, 

which reside in the people who need this revolution, 

and which can be drawn out of them, and thus secure 

form and reality. 

The basis of this revolution must be character. That 
is the rock on which this whole race in America is to 
be built up. / Our leaders and teachers are to address 
themselves to this main and master endeavor, viz., to 
free them from false ideas and injurious habits, to per- 
suade them to the adoption of correct principles, to lift 
them up to superior modes of living, and so bring forth, 
as permanent factors in their life, the qualities of thrift, 
order, acquisitiveness, virtue and manliness. 

And who are the agents to bring about this grand 
change in this race? 

Remember, just here, that all effectual revolutions in 
a people must be racial in their characteristics. You 
can't take the essential qualities of one people and 
transfuse them into the blood of another people, and 
make them indigenous to them. The primal qualities 
of a family, a clan, a nation, a race are heritable qual- 
ities. They abide in their constitution. They are ab- 
solute and congenital things. They remain, notwith- 
standing the conditions and the changes of rudeness, 
slavery, civilization and enlightenment. The attempt to 
eliminate them will only serve to make a people facti- 
tious and unmanly. It is law of moral elevation that 
you must allow the constant abidance of the essential 
elements of a people's character. 


And, therefore, when I put the query — Who are to 
be the agents to raise and elevate this people to a 
higher plane of being? the answer will at once flash 
upon your intelligence. It is to be affected by the 
scholars and philanthropists which come forth in these 
days from the schools. They are to be the scholars ; 
for to transform, stimulate and uplift a people is a work 
of intelligence ; it is a work which demands the clear 
induction of historic facts and their application to new 
circumstances, — a work which will require the most 
skillful resources and the wise practicality of superior 

But these reformers must not be mere scholars. The 
intellect is to be used, but mainly as the vehicle of 
mind and spiritual aims. And hence, these men must 
needs be both scholars and philanthropists ; the intel- 
lect rightly discerning the conditions, and the gracious 
and godly heart stimulating to the performance of the 
noblest duties for a people. 

Allow me, in conclusion, to express the hope that, 
mingled with the sweet melodies of poetry, the inspir- 
ing voices of eloquence and the mystic tones of science, 
you will have an open ear to hear the voice of God, 
which is the call to duty. And may he who holds the 
hearts of all men give you the spirit to forget your- 
selves, and live for the good of man and the glory of 
God. Such a field and opportunity is graciously 
opened to you in the conditions and needs of our com- 
mon race in this country. May you and I be equal to 
them ! 

The Race-Problem in America. 

A paper read at the Church Congress. \Prot. Epis. Church^ 
Buffalo, N. Y., Nov. 20th, 1888. 


The residence of various races of men in the same 
national community, is a fact which has occurred in 
every period of time and in every quarter of the globe. 
So well known is this fact of history that the mention of 
a few special instances will be sufficient for this occasion. 

It took place in earliest times on the plains of 
Babylon. It was^seen on the banks of the Nile, in the 
land of the Pharaohs. The same fact occurred again 
when the barbarian hosts of the North fell upon effete 
Roman society, and changed the fate of Europe. Once 
more we witness the like fact when the Moors swept 
along the banks of the Mediterranean, and seated them- 
selves in might and majesty on the hills of Granada 
and along the fertile slopes of Arragon and Castile. 
And now, in the 19th century, we have the largest 
illustration of the same fact in our own Republic, 
where are gathered together, in one national com- 
munity, sixty millions of people of every race and 
kindred under the sun. It might be supposed that an 
historical fact so large and multiform would furnish a 
solution of the great race-problem, which now invites 


attention in American society. We read the future by 
the past. And without doubt there are certain prin- 
ciples of population which are invariable in their 
working and* universal in their results. Such princi- 
ples are inductions from definite conditions, and may 
be called the laws of population. They are, too, both 
historical and predictive. One cannot only ascertain 
through them the past condition of States and peoples, 
but they give a light which opens up with clearness 
the future of great commonwealths. 

But, singular as it may seem, there is no fixed law of 
history by which to determine the probabilities of the 
race-problem in the United States. We can find no- 
where such invariability of result as to set a principle 
or determine what may be called an historical axiom. 

Observe just here the inevitable confusion which is 
sure to follow the aim after historical precedent in this 

The descendants of Nimrod and Assur, people of 
two different stocks, settled in Babylon ; and the re- 
sult was amalgamation.* 

The Jews and the Egyptians under the Pharaohs in- 
habited the same country 400 years ; but antagonism 
was the result, and expulsion the final issue. 

The Tartars overran China in the tenth century, and 
the result has been amalgamation. 

The Goths and Vandals poured into Italy like a 
flood, and the result has been absorption. 

*" Duties of Higher toward Lower Races." Canon Rawlinson, Princeton Review, 
Nov., 1878. 

tth£ Race-problem in America. 41 

The Celts and Scandinavians clustered like bees 
from the fourth to the sixth centuries in the British 
Isles, and the result has been absorption. 

The Northmen and Gauls have lived side by side in 
Normandy since the tenth century, and the result has 
been absorption. 

The Moors and Spaniards came into the closest con- 
tact in the sixth century, and it resulted in constant an- 
tagonism and in final expulsion. 

The Caucasian and the Indian have lived in close 
neighborhood on this continent since 1492, and the re- 
sult has been the extinction of the Indian. 

The Papuan and the Malay have lived side by side 
for ages in the tropical regions of the Pacific, and have' 
maintained every possible divergence of tribal life, of 
blood, government, and religion, down to the present, 
and yet have remained perpetually and yet peacefully 
separate and distinct.* 

These facts, circling deep historic ages, show that 
we can find no definite historical precedent or princi- 
ple applicable to the race-problem in America. 

Nevertheless we are not entirely at sea with regard 
to this problem. There are certain tendencies, seen 
for over 200 years in our population, which indicate 
settled, determinate proclivities, and which show, if I 
mistake not, the destiny of races. 

What, then, are the probabilities of the future? Do 
the indications point to amalgamation or to absorption 
as the outcome of race-life in America? Are we to 

*See "Physics and Politics," by Bagehot, pp. 84, 85. 


have the intermingling of our peoples into one 
common blood or the perpetuity of our diverse stocks, 
with the abiding integrity of race, blood, and char- 

I might meet the theory which anticipates amal- 
gamation by the great principle manifested in every 
sphere, viz : " That nature is constantly departing from 
the simple to the complex ; starting off in new lines 
from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous ;" striking 
out in divers ways into variety; and hence we are 
hedged in, in the aim after blood-unity, by a law of 
nature which is universal, and which excludes the no- 
tion of amalgamation. 

But I turn from the abstract to history. It is now 
about 268 years since the tides of immigration began 
to beat upon our shores. This may be called a brief 
period, but 268 years is long enough to fix a new type 
of man. Has such a new type sprung up here to life? 
Has a new commingled race, the result of our diverse 
elements, come forth from the crucible of our hetero- 
geneous nationality? 

We will indulge in no speculation upon this subject. 
We will exclude even the faintest tinge of the imagina- 
tion. The facts alone shall speak for themselves. 

First of all is the history of the Anglo-Saxon race in 
America. In many respects it has been the foremost 
element in the American population ; in largeness of 
numbers, in civil polity and power, in educational im- 
press, and in religious influence. What has become of 
this element of our population? Has it been lost in 


the current of the divergent streams of life which have 
been spreading abroad throughout the land? 

Why, every one knows that in New England, in Vir- 
ginia, in the Faf West, along the Atlantic Seaboard, 
that fully three-fifths of the whole American population 
are the offspring of this same hardy, plodding, com- 
mon-sense people that they were centurie.s ago, when 
their fathers pressed through the forests of Jamestown 
or planted their feet upon the sterile soil of Plymouth. 

Some of you may remember the remark of Mr. Lowell, 
on his return in 1885 from his mission to England. 
He said that when English people spoke to him of 
Americans as a people different from themselves, he al- 
ways told them that in blood he was just as much an 
Englishman as they were ; and Mr. Lowell in this re- 
mark was the spokesman of not less than thirty-six 
millions of men of as direct Anglo-Saxon descent as the 
men of Kent or the people of Yorkshire. 

The Celtic element came to America in two separate 
columns. The French entered Canada in 1607. They 
came with all that glow, fervor, gallantry, social apti- 
tudes, and religious loyalty which, for centuries, have 
characterized the Gallic blood, and which are still con- 
spicuous features on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The other section of the Celtic family began their im- 
migration about 1640; and they have almost depopu- 
lated Ireland to populate America; and their numbers 
now are millions. 

One or two facts are observable concerning the 
French and Irish, viz: (1) That, although kindred in 


blood, temperament, and religion, they have avoided 
both neighborhood of locality and marital alliance; 
and (2) so great has been the increase of the Hiber- 
nian family that in Church life and political import- 
ance, they form a vast solidarity in the nation. 

The German, like the Celtic family, came over in two 
sections. The Batavian stock came first from Holland 
in 1608, and made New York, New Jersey, and Penn- 
sylvania their habitat, The Germans proper, or High 
Germans, have been streaming into the Republic since 
1680, bringing with them that steadiness and sturdincss, 
that thrift and acquisitiveness, that art and learning, 
that genius and acumen, which have given an elastic 
spring to American culture, depth to philosophy, and 
inspiration to music and to art. 

And here they are in great colonies in the Middle 
and Western States, and in vast sections of our great 
:ities. And yet where can one discover any decline in 
the purity of German blood, or the likelihood of its ul- 
timate loss in the veins of alien people? 

The Negro contingent was one of the earliest contri- 
butions to the American population. The black man 
came quickly on the heel of the Cavalier at Jamestown, 
and before the arrival of the Puritan in the cast. " That 
fatal, that perfidious bark" of Sir John Hawkins, that 
" ferried the slave captive o'er the sea" from Africa, pre- 
ceded the Mayflower one year and five months. 

From that small cargo and its after arrivals have 
arisen the large black population, variously estimated 
from 8 to 10,000,000. It is mostly, especially in the 


wide rural areas of the South, a purely Negro popula- 
tion. In the large cities there is a wide intermixture 
of blood. This, by some writers, is taken as the indi- 
cation of ultimate and entire amalgamation. But the 
past in this incident is no sign of the future. The gross 
and violent intermingling of the blood of the southern 
white man cannot be taken as an index of the future of 
the black race. 

Amalgamation in its exact sense means the approach 
of affinities. The word applied to human beings im- 
plies will, and the consent of two parties. In this sense 
there has been no amalgamation of the two races ; for 
the negro in this land has ever been the truest of men, 
in marital allegiance, to his own race. 

Intermixture of blood there has been — not by the 
amalgamation, which implies consent, but through the 
victimizing of the helpless black woman. But even this 
has been limited in extent. Out of 4,500,000 of this 
race in the census of 1861, 400,000 were set down as of 
mixed blood. Thousands of these were the legitimate 
offspring of colored parents ; and the probability is that 
not more than 150,000 had white fathers. Since eman- 
cipation the black woman has gained possession of her 
own person, and it is *he testimony of Dr. Haygood 
and other eminent Southerners that the base process of 
intermixture has had a wide and sudden decline, and 
that the likelihood of the so-called amalgamation of 
the future is fast dying out. 

And now, after this survey of race tides and race life 
during 268 years, I repeat the question : " Has a new 


race, the product of our diverse elements, sprung up 
here in America? Or, is there any such a probability 
for the future?" 

Let me answer this question by a recent and striking 

Dr. Strong, in his able, Startling, striking Tractate, 
entitled " Our Country" speaks, in ch. 4, p. 44, of the 
Helvetian settlement in southern Wisconsin. He dep- 
recates the preservation of its race, its language, its 
worship, and its customs in their integrity. In this, 
you see, he forgets the old Roman adage that " though 
men cross the seas they do not change their nature." 
He then protests (and rightly, too) against the per- 
petuation of race antipathies, and closes his criticism 
with the suggestion, similar to that of Canon Rawlin- 
son, of Oxford, viz., that the American people should 
seek the solution of the race-problem by universal as- 
similation of blood. 

Dr. Strong evidently forgets that the principle of race 
is one of the most persistent of all things in the consti- 
tution of man. It is one of those structural facts in our 
nature which abide with a fixed, vital, and reproductive 

Races, like families, are the organisms and the ordi- 
nance of God ; and race feeling, like the family feeling, 
is of divine origin. The extinction of race feeling is 
just as possible as the extinction of family feeling. In- 
deed, a race is a family. The principle of continuity is 
as masterful in races as it is in families — as it is in na- 


History is filled with the attempts of kings and 

mighty generals and great statesmen to extinguish this 
instinct. But their failures are as numerous as their 
futile attempts ; for this sentiment, alike subtle and spon- 
taneous, has both pervaded and stimulated society in 
every quarter. Indeed, as Lord Beaconsfield says, 
" race is the key to history." When once the race- 
type gets fixed as a new variety, then it acts precisely 
as the family life ; for, 1st, it propagates itself by that 
divine instinct of reproduction, vital in all living crea- 
tures, and next, 2nd, it has a growth asa" seed after 
its own kind and in itself," whereby the race-type be- 
comes a perpetuity, with its own distinctive form, con- 
stitution, features, and structure. Heredity is just as 
true a fact in races as in families, as it is in individuals. 
Nay, we see, not seldom, a special persistency in the 
race life. We see families and tribes and clans swept 
out of existence, while race " goes on forever." Yea, even 
nations suffer the same fate. Take, for instance, the 
unification of States now constantly occurring. One 
small nation after another is swallowed up by another 
to magnify its strength and importance, and thus the 
great empires of the world become colossal powers. 
But it is observable that the process of unification leaves 
untouched the vitality and the persistency of race. 
You have only to turn to Great Britain and to Austria 
to verify this statement. In both nations we see the 
intensity of race cohesion, and at the same time the 
process of unification. Indeed, on all sides, in Europe, 
we see the consolidation of States ; and at the same 


time the integration of race: Nature and Providence 
thus developing that principle of unity which binds the 
universe, and yet at the same time manifesting that con- 
serving power which tends everywhere to fixity of type. 
And this reminds us of the lines of Tennyson : 

" Are God and nature, then, at strife, 

That nature lends such evil dreams? 
So careful of the type she seems, 
So careless of the single life." 

Hence, when a race once seats itself permanently in 
a land it is almost as impossible to get rid of it as it is 
to extirpate a plant that is indigenous to its soil. You 
can drive out a family from a community. You can 
rid yourself of a clan or a single tribe by expulsion. 
You can swallow up by amalgamation a simple emi- 
grant people. 

But when a Race, i. e., a compact, homogeneous 
population of one blood, ancestry, and lineage — num- 
bering, perchance, some eight or ten millions — once 
enters a land and settles therein as its home and heri- 
tage, then occurs an event as fixed and abiding as the 
rooting of the Pyrenees in Spain or the Alps in Italy. 

The race-problem, it will thus be seen, cannot be 
settled by extinction of race. No amalgamating pro- 
cess can eliminate it. It is not a carnal question — a 
problem of breeds, or blood, or lineage. 

And even if it were, amalgamation would be an im- 
possibility. How can any one persuade seven or eight 
millions of people to forget the ties of race? No one 
could force them into the arms of another race. And 



even then it would take generations upon generations 
to make the American people homogeneous in blood 
and essential qualities. Thus take one single case: 
There are thirty millions of Negroes on the American 
continent (eight or more millions in the United States 
of America), and constantly increasing at an immense 
ratio. Nothing but the sheerest, haziest imagination 
can anticipate the future dissolution of this race and its 
final loss; and so, too, of the other races of men in 

Indeed, the race-problem is a moral one. It is a 
question entirely of ideas. Its solution will come es- 
pecially from the domain of principles. Like all the other 
great battles of humanity, it is to be fought out with 
the weapons of truth. The race-problem is a question 
of organic life, and it must he dealt with as an ethical 
matter by the laws of the Christian system. " As dis- 
eases of the mind are invisible, so must their remedies 

And this brings me to the one vast question that still 
lingers, /. e.> the question of Amity. Race -life is a per- 
manent element in our system. Can it be maintained 
in peace? Can these races give the world the show of 
brotherhood and fraternity? Is there a moral remedy 
in this problem? 

Such a state of concord is, we must admit, a rare 
sight, even in Christendom. There is great friction be- 
tween Celt and Saxon in Britain. We see the violence 
of both Russ and German against the Jew. The bitter- 
ness is a mutual one between Russia on the one hand 


and Bulgaria and the neighboring dependent principali- 
ties on the other, and France and Germany stand facing 
one another like great fighting cocks. 

All this is by no means assuring, and hence we can- 
not dismiss this question in an off-hand and careless 

The current, however, does not set all one way. 
There is another aspect to this question. 

Thus, the Norman and the Frank have lived together 
harmoniously for centuries ; the Welsh, English, and 
Scotch in England ; the Indian, the Spaniard, and Ne- 
gro in Brazil, and people of very divergent lineage in 

And now the question arises : What are the proba- 
bilities of amity in a land where exists such wide diver- 
gence of race as the Saxon on the one hand and the Negro 
on the other? 

First of all, let me say that the social idea is to be 
entirely excluded from consideration. It is absolutely 
a personal matter, regulated by taste, condition, or 
either by racial or family affinities ; and there it must 
remain undisturbed forever. The Jews in this land are 
sufficient for themselves. So are the Germans, the 
Italians, the Irish, and so are the Negroes. Civil and 
political freedom trench in no way upon the domestic 
state or social relations. 

Besides, there is something ignoble in any man, 
any class, any race of men whining and crying because 
they cannot move in spheres where they are not 
wanted. * 


But, beyond the social range there should be no com- 
promise; and this country should be agitated and even 
convulsed till the battle of liberty is won, and every 
man in the land is guaranteed fully every civil and po- 
litical right and prerogative. 

The question of equality pertains entirely to the two 
domains of civil and political life and prerogative. 

Now, I wish to show that the probabilities t;end to- 
ward the complete and entire civil and political equality 
of all the peoples of this land. 

1st. Observe that this is the age of civil freedom. 
It has not as yet gained its fullest triumphs ; neither 
yet has Christianity. 

But it is to be observed in the history of man that, 
in due time, certain principles get their set in human 
society, and there is no such thing as successfully re- 
sisting them. Their rise is not a matter of chance or 
hap-hazard. It is God's hand in history. It is the 
providence of the Almighty, and no earthly power can 
stay it. 

Such, pre-eminently, was the entrance of Christianity 
in the centre of the world's civilization, and the planting 
of the idea of human brotherhood amid the ideas in the 
laws and legislation of great nations. That was the 
seed from which have sprung all the great revolutions 
in thought and governmental policies during the 
Christian era. Its work has been slow, but it has been 
certain and unfailing. I cannot pause to narrate. all its 
early victories. We will take a limited period. We 
will begin at the dawn of modern civilization, and note 


the grand achievements of the idea of Christian brother- 

It struck at the doctrine of the Divine Right of 
Kings, and mortally wounded it. It demanded the ex- 
tinction of Feudalism, and it got it. It demanded the 
abolition of the Slave Trade, and it got it. It demanded 
the abolition of Russian Serfage, and it got it. It de- 
manded the education of the masses, and it got it. 

In the early part of the eighteenth century this prin- 
ciple of brotherhood sprouted forth into a grander and 
more consummate growth, and generated the spirit of 

When I speak of the spirit of democracy I have no 
reference to that spurious, blustering, self-sufficient 
spirit which derides God and authority on the one hand, 
and crushes the weak and helpless on the other. The 
democratic spirit I am speaking of is that which up- 
holds the doctrine of human rights; which demands 
honor to all men ; which recognizes manhood in all 
conditions ; which uses the State as the means and 
agency for the unlimited progress of humanity. This 
principle has its root in the Scriptures of God, and it 
has come forth in political society to stay ! In the 
hands of man it has indeed suffered harm. It has been 
both distorted and exaggerated, and without doubt it 
needs to be chastised, regulated, and sanctified. But 
the democratic principle in its essence is of God, and in 
its normal state it is the consummate flower of Chris- 
tianity, and is irresistible because it is the mighty breath 
of God. 


It is democracy which has demanded the people's 
participation in government and the extension of suf- 
frage, and it got it. It has demanded a higher wage 
for labor, and it has got it, and will get more. It 
has demanded the abolition of Negro slavery, and 
it has got it. Its present demand is the equality 
of man in the State, irrespective of race, con- 
dition, or lineage. The answer to this demand is 
the solution of the race-problem. 

In this land the crucial test in the race-problem is 
the civil and political rights of the black man. The 
only question now remaining among us for the full 
triumph of Christian democracy is the equality of the. 

Nay, I take back my own words. It is NOT the case 
of the Negro in this land. It is the nation which is on 
trial. The Negro is only the touch-stone. By this 
black man she stands or falls. 

If the black man cannot .be free in this land, if he 
cannot tread with firmness every pathway to prefer- 
ment and superiority, neither can the white man. "A 
bridge is never stronger than its weakest point." 

" In nature's chain, whatever link you strike, 
Tenth or ten-thousandth, breaks the chain alike." 

So compact a thing is humanity that the despoiling 
of an individual is an injury to society. 

This nation has staked her existence on this princi- 
ple of democracy in her every fundamental political 
dogma, and in every organic State document. The 
democratic idea is neither Anglo-Saxonism, nor Ger- 


manism, nor Hibernianism, but HUMANITY, and human- 
ity can live when Anglo-Saxonism or any class of the 
race of man has perished. Humanity anticipated all 
human varieties by thousands of years, and rides above 
them all, and outlives them all, and swallows up them 

If this nation is not truly democratic then she must 
die ! Nothing is more destructive to a nation than an 
organic falsehood ! This nation cannot live — this na- 
tion does not deserve to live — on the basis of a lie ! 

Her fundamental idea is democracy ; and if this na- 
tion will not submit herself to the domination of this 
idea — if she refuses to live in the spirit of* this creed — 
then she is already doomed, and she will certainly be 

But neither calamity, I ween, is her destiny. 

The democratic spirit is of itself a prophecy of its 
own fulfillment. Its disasters are trivialities ; its re- 
pulses only temporary. In this nation the Negro has 
been the test for over 200 years. But see how far the 
Negro has traveled this time. 

In less than the lifetime of such a man as the great 
George Bancroft, observe the transformation in the 
status of the Negro in this land. When he was a child 
the Negro was a marketable commodity, a beast of the 
field, a chattel in the shambles, outside of the pale of 
the law, and ignorant as a pagan. 

Nay, when I was a boy of 13, I heard the utterance 
fresh from the lips of the great J. C. Calhoun, to wit, 
that if he could find a Negro who knew the Greek 


syntax he would then believe that the Negro was a hu- 
man being and should be treated as a man. 

If he were living to-day he would come across scores 
of Negroes, not only versed in the Greek syntax, but 
doctors, lawyers, college students, clergymen, some 
learned professors, and one the author of a new Greek 

But just here the caste spirit interferes in this race- 
problem and declares : " You Negroes may get learn- 
ing ; you may get property ; you may have churches 
and religion; but this is your limit! This is a white 
man's Government ! No matter how many millions 
you may number, we Anglo-Saxons are to rule !" 
This is the edict constantly hissed in the Negro's ear, 
in one vast section of the land. 

Let me tell you of a similar edict in another land : 

Some sixty years ago there was a young nobleman, 
an undergraduate at Oxford University, a youth of 
much talent, learning, and political ambition ; but, at 
the same time, he was then a foolish youth ! His 
patrician spirit rose in bitter protest against the "Re- 
form Bill of that day, which lessened the power of the 
British aristocracy and increased the suffrages of the 
Commons. He was a clever young fellow, and he 
wrote a brilliant poem in defense of his order, notable, 
as you will see, for its rhythm, melody, and withal for 
its — silliness ! Here are two lines from it : 

*' Let I aws and Letters, Arts and Learning die; 
But give us still our old Nobility. 


Yes, let everything go to smash ! Let civilization it- 
self go to the dogs, if only an oligarchy may rule, flour- 
ish, and dominate ! 

We have a blatant provincialism in our own coun- 
try, whose only solution of the race-problem is the 
eternal subjection of the Negro, and the endless domi- 
nation of a lawless and self-created aristocracy. 

Such men forget that the democratic spirit rejects 
the factious barriers of caste, and stimulates the lowest 
of the kind to the very noblest ambitions of life. They 
forget that nations are no longer governed by races, 
but by ideas. They forget that the triumphant spirit 
of democracy has bred an individualism which brooks 
not the restraints of classes and aristocracies. They 
forget that, regardless of " Pope, Consul, King," or 
oligarchy, this same spirit of democracy lifts up to 
place and power her own agents for the rule of the 
world ; and brings to the front, now a Dane as King of 
Greece, and now a Frenchman as King of Sweden ; 
now a Jewish DTsraeli as Prime Minister ,of England, 
and now a Gallatin and a Schurz as cabinet ministers 
in America. They forget that a Wamba and a Gurth 
in one generation, whispering angry discontent in se- 
cret places, become, by the inspiration of democracy, 
the outspoken Hampdens and Sydneys of another. 
They forget that, as letters ripen and education spreads, 
the "Sambos" and " Pornpeys" of to-day will surely 
develop into the Touissants and the Christophes, the 
Wards and the Garnets of the morrow, champions of 
their race and vindicators of their rights. They for- 


get that democracy, to use the words of De Tocque- 
ville, " has severed every link of the chain" by which 
aristocracy had fixed every member of the community, 
" from the peasant to the king."* 

They forget that the Church of God is in the world ; 
that her mission is, by the Holy Ghost, "to take the 
weak things of the world to confound the mighty," " to 
put down the mighty from their seats, and to exalt 
them of low degree;" that now, as in all the ages, she 
will, by the Gospel, break up tyrannies and useless 
dynasties, and lift up the masses to nobleness of life, 
and exalt the humblest of men to excellence and superi- 

Above all things, they forget that " the King invisi- 
ble, immortal, eternal" is upon the throne of the uni- 
verse; that thither caste, and bigotry, and race-hate 
can never reach ; that He is everlastingly committed 
to the interests of the oppressed ; that He is constantly 
sending forth succors and assistances for the rescue of 
the wronged and injured; that He brings all the forces 
of the universe to grind to powder all the enormities of 
earth, and to rectify all the ills of humanity, and so 
hasten on the day of universal brotherhood. 

By the presence and the power of that Divine Being 
all the alienations and disseverances of men shall be 
healed; all the race-problems of this land easily be 
solved, and love and peace prevail among men. 

•"Democracy in America," B. 2, Ch. 2. 

The Black Woman of the South 


Address before the "Freedmari's Aid Society." \_Meth. Epis. 
Church^ Ocean Grove, N.J., Aug. ijtk, 1883. 


It is an age clamorous everywhere for the dignities, 
the grand prerogatives, and the glory of woman. There 
is not a country in Europe where she has not risen 
somewhat above the degradation of centuries, and 
pleaded successfully for a new position and a higher 
vocation. As the result of this new reformation we 
see her, in our day, seated in the lecture-rooms of 
ancient universities, rivaling her brothers in the fields 
of literature, the grand creators of ethereal art, the 
participants in noble civil franchises, the moving spirit 
in grand reformations, and the guide, agent, or assistant 
in all the noblest movements for the civilization and 
regeneration of man. 

In these several lines of progress the American 
woman has run on in advance of her sisters in every 
other quarter of the globe. The advantage she has 
received, the rights and prerogatives she has secured for 
herself, are unequaled by any other class of women in 
the .world. It will not be thought amiss, then, that I 
come here to-day to present to your consideration the 
one grand exception to this general superiority of. 


In speaking to-day of the " black woman," I must 
needs make a very clear distinction. The African race 
in this country is divided into two classes, that is — the 
colored people and the negro population. In the census 
returns of i860 this whole population was set down at 
4,500,000. Of these, the colored numbered 500,000; 
the black or negro population at 4,000,000. But notice 
these other broad lines of demarkation between them. 
The colored people, while indeed but one-eighth of the 
number of the blacks, counted more men and women 
who could read and write than the whole 4,000,000 of 
their brethren in bondage. A like disparity showed 
itself in regard to their material condition. The 500,000 
colored people were absolutely richer in lands and 
houses than the many millions of their degraded 

The causes of these differences are easily discovered. 
The colored population received, in numerous cases, 
the kindness and generosity of their white kindred — 
white fathers and relatives. Forbidden by law to marry 
the negro woman, very many slave-holders took her as 
the wife, despite the law ; and when children were be- 
gotten every possible recognition was given those 
children, and they were often cared for, educated, and 
made possessors of property. Sometimes they were 
sent to Northern schools, sometimes to France or 
England. Not unfrequently whole families, nay, at 
times, whole colonies, were settled in Western or 
Northern towns and largely endowed with property. 
The colored population, moreover, was, as compared 



with the negro, the urban population. They were 
brought in large numbers to the cities, and thus partook 
of the civilization and refinement of the whites. They 
were generally the domestic servants of their masters, 
and thus, brought in contact with their superiors, they 
gained a sort of education which never came to the field 
hands, living in rude huts on the plantations. All this, 
however casual it may seem, was a merciful providence, 
by which some gleams of light and knowledge came, 
indirectly, to the race in this land. 

The rural or plantation population of the South was 
made up almost entirely of people of pure negro blood. 
And this brings out also the other disastrous fact, 
namely, that this large black population has been living 
from the time of their introduction into America, a 
period of more than two hundred years, in a state of 
unlettered rudeness. The Negro all this time has been 
an intellectual starvling. This has been more espe- 
cially the condition of the black woman of the South. 
Now and then a black man has risen above the debased 
condition of his people. Various causes would con- 
tribute to the advantage of the men : the relation of 
servants to superior masters ; attendance at courts with 
them ; their presence at political meetings ; listening to 
table-talk behind their chairs ; traveling as valets ; the 
privilege of books and reading in great houses, and with 
indulgent masters — all these served to lift up a black 
man here and there to something like superiority. 
But no such fortune fell to the lot of the plantation 
woman. The black woman of the South was left per- 


petually in a state of hereditary darkness and rudeness. 
Since the day of Phillis Wheatly no Negress in this 
land (that is, in the South) has been raised above the 
level of her sex. The lot of the black man on the 
plantation has been sad and desolate enough ; but the 
fate of the black woman has been awful ! Her entire 
existence from the day she first landed, a naked victim 
of the slave-trade, has been degradation in its extremest 


In her girlhood all the delicate tenderness of her sex 
has been rudely outraged. In the field, in the rude 
cabin, in the press-room, in the factory, she was thrown 
into the companionship of coarse and ignorant men. 
No chance was given her for delicate reserve or tender 
modesty. From her childhood she was the doomed 
victim of the grossest passions. All the virtues of her 
sex were utterly ignored. If the instinct of chastity 
asserted itself, then she had to fight like a tigress for 
the ownership and possession of her own person ; and, 
ofttimes, had to suffer pains and lacerations for her 
virtuous self-assertion. When she reached maturity all 
the tender instincts of her womanhood were ruthlessly 
violated. At the age of marriage — always prematurely 
anticipated under slavery — she was mated, as the stock 
of the plantation were mated, not to be the companion 
of a loved and chosen husband, but to be the breeder 
of human cattle, for the field or the auction block. 
With that mate she went out, morning after morning to 
toil, as a common field-hand. As it was his, so like- 
wise was it her lot to wield the heavy hoe, or to follow 


the plow, or to gather in the crops. She was a "hewer 
of wood and a drawer of water." She was a common 
field-hand. She had to keep her place in the gang 
from morn till eve, under the burden of a heavy task, 
or under the stimulus or the fear of a cruel lash. She 
was a picker of cotton. She labored at the sugar mill 
and in the tobacco factory. When, through weariness 
or sickness, she has fallen behind her allotted task then 
came, as punishment, the fearful stripes upon her 
shrinking, lacerated flesh. 

Her home life was of the most degrading nature. 
She lived in the rudest huts, and partook of the coarsest 
food, and dressed in the scantiest garb, and slept, in 
multitudinous cabins, upon the hardest boards ! 

Thus she continued a beast of burden down to the 
period of those maternal anxieties which, in ordinary 
civilized life, give repose, quiet, and care to expectant 
mothers. But, under the slave system, few such relax- 
ations were allowed. And so it came to pass that little 
children were ushered into this world under conditions 
which many cattle raisers would not suffer for their 
flocks or herds. Thus she became the mother of 
children. But even then there was for her no surety- 
ship of motherhood, or training, or control. Her own 
offspring were not her own. She and husband and 
children were all the property of others. All these 
sacred ties were constantly snapped and cruelly sun- 
dered. This year she had one husband ; and next 
year, through some auction sale, she might be separated 
from him and mated to another. There was no sanctity 


of family, no binding tie of marriage, none of the fine 
felicities and the endearing affections of home. None 
of these things were the lot of Southern black women. 
Instead thereof a gross barbarism which tended to blunt 
the tender sensibilities, to obliterate feminine delicacy 
and womanly shame, came down as her heritage from 
generation to generation ; and it seems a miracle of 
providence and grace that, notwithstanding these terri- 
ble circumstances, so much struggling virtue lingered 
amid these rude cabins, that so much womanly worth 
and sweetness abided in their bosoms, as slaveholders 
themselves have borne witness to. 

But some of you will ask: "Why bring up these sad 
memories of the past? Why distress us with these 
dead and departed cruelties?" Alas, my friends, these 
are not dead things. Remember that 

" The evil that men do lives after them." 

The evil of gross and monstrous abominations, the 
evil of great organic institutions crop out long after the 
departure of the institutions themselves. If you go to 
Europe you will find not only the roots, but likewise 
many of the deadly fruits of the old Feudal system still 
surviving in several of its old states and kingdoms. So, 
too, with slavery. The eighteen years of freedom have 
not obliterated all its deadly marks from either the 
souls or bodies of the black woman. The conditions 
of life, indeed, have been modified since emancipation; 
but it still maintains that the black woman is the Pariah 
woman of this land ! We have, indeed, degraded 


women, immigrants, from foreign lands. In their own 
countries some of them were so low in the social scale 
that they were yoked with the cattle to plow the fields. 
They were rude, unlettered, coarse, and benighted. But 
when they reach this land there comes an end to their 
degraded condition. 

"They touch our country and their shackles fall." 

As soon as they become grafted into the stock of 
American life they partake at once of all its large gifts 
and its noble resources. 

Not so with the black woman of the South. Freed, 
legally she has been ; but the act of emancipation had 
no talismanic influence to reach to and alter and trans- 
form her degrading social life. 

When that proclamation was issued she might have 
heard the whispered words in her every hut, " Open 
Sesame;" but, so far as her humble domicile and her 
degraded person was concerned, there was no, invisible 
but gracious Genii who, on the instant, could transmute 
the rudeness of her hut into instant elegance, and 
change the crude surroundings of her home into neat- 
ness, taste, and beauty. 

The truth is, "Emancipation Day" found her a pros- 
trate and degraded being'; and, although it has brought 
numerous advantages to her sons, it has produced but 
the simplest changes in her social and domestic condi- 
tion. She is still the crude, rude, ignorant mother. 
Remote from cities, the dweller still in the old planta- 
tion hut, neighboring to the sulky, disaffected master 


class, who still think her freedom was a personal 
robbery of themselves, none of the " fair humanities " 
have visited her humble home. The light of knowledge 
has not fallen upon her eyes. The fine domesticities 
which give the charm to family life, and which, by the 
refinement and delicacy of womanhood, preserve the 
civilization of nations, have not come to her. She has 
still the rude, coarse labor of men. With her rude 
husband she still shares the hard service of a field-hand. 
Her house, which shelters, perhaps, some six or eight 
children, embraces but two rooms. Her furniture is of 
the rudest kind. The clothing of the household is 
scant and of the coarest material, has ofttimes the gar- 
niture of rags ; and for herself and offspring is marked, 
not seldom, by the absence of both hats and shoes. 
She has rarely been taught to sew, and the field labor 
of slavery times has kept her ignorant of the habitudes 
of neatness, and the requirements of order. Indeed, 
coarse food, coarse clothes, coarse living, coarse man- 
ners, coarse companions, coarse surroundings, coarse 
neighbors, both black and white, yea, every thing 
coarse, down to the coarse, ignorant, senseless religion, 
which excites her sensibilities and starts her passions, 
go to make up the life of the masses of black women in 
the hamlets and villages of the rural South. 

This is the state of black womanhood. Take the 
girlhood of this same region, and it presents the same 
aspect, save that in large districts the white man has 
not forgotten the olden times of slavery, and, with, 
indeed, the deepest sentimental abhorrence of " amal- 


gamation," still thinks that the black girl is to be per- 
petually the victim of his lust ! In the larger towns 
and in cities, our girls, in common schools and acad- 
emies, are receiving superior culture. Of the fifteen 
thousand colored school teachers in the South, more 
than half are colored young women, educated since 
emancipation. But even these girls, as. well as their 
more ignorant sisters in rude huts, are followed and 
tempted and insulted by the ruffianly element of South- 
ern society, who think that black men have no rights 
which white men should regard, and black women no 
virtue which white men should respect ! 

And now look at the vastness of this degradation. 
If I had been speaking of the population of a city, or 
a town, or even a village, the tale would be a sad and 
melancholy one. But I have brought before you the 
condition of millions of women. According to the 
census of 1880 there were, in the Southern States, 
3,327,678 females of all ages of the African race. Of 
these there were 674,365 girls between twelve and 
twenty, 1,522,696 between twenty and eighty. "These 
figures," remarks an observing friend of mine, " are 
startling ! " And when you think that the masses of 
these women live in the rural districts ; that they grow 
up in rudeness and ignorance ; that their former mas- 
ters are using few means to break up their hereditary 
degradation, you can easily take in the pitiful condition 
of this population, and forecast the inevitable future to 
multitudes of females, unless a mighty special effort is 


made for the improvement of the black womanhood 
of the South. 

I know the practical nature of the American mind, I 
know how the question of values intrudes itself into 
even the domain of philanthropy; and, hence, I shall 
not be astonished if the query suggests itself, whether 
special interest in the black woman will bring any 
special advantage to the American nation. 

Let me dwell for a few moments upon this phase of 
the subject. Possibly the view I am about suggesting 
has never before been presented to the American mind. 
But, Negro as I am, I shall make no apology for ven- 
turing the claim that the Negress is one of the most 
interesting of all the classes of women on the globe. I 
am speaking of her, not as a perverted and degraded 
creature, but in her natural state, with her native in- 
stincts and peculiarities. 

Let me repeat just here the words of a wise, observ- 
ing, tender-hearted philanthropist, whose name and 
worth and words have attained celebrity. It is fully 
forty years ago since the celebrated Dr. Channing said : 
"We are holding in bondage one of the best races of 
the human family The Negro is among the mildest, 
gentlest of men. He is singularly susceptible of im- 
provement from abroad. His nature is affec- 
tionate, easily touched, and hence he is more open to 
religious improvement than the white man. 
The African carries with him much more than we the 
genius of a meek, long-suffering, loving virtue."* 

•" Emancipation." By Rev. W. E. Channing, D. D. Works of W. E. Channing, 
D. D. A. U. A. Ed. Pp. 820. 9 



I should feel ashamed to allow these words to fall 
from my lips if it were not necessary to the lustration 
of the character of my black sisters of the South. I do 
not stand here to-day to plead for the black man. He 
is a man ; and if he is weak he must go the wall. He 
is a man; he must fight his own way, and if he is 
strong in mind and body, he can take car,e of himself. 
But for the mothers, sisters, and daughters of my race 
I have a right to speak. And when I think of their 
sad condition down South, think, too, that since the 
-day of emancipation hardly any one has lifted up a 
voice in their behalf, I feel it a duty and a privilege to 
set forth their praises and to extol their excellencies. 
For, humble and benighted as she is, the black woman 
of the South is one of the queens of womanhood. If 
there is any other woman on this earth who in native 
aboriginal qualities is her superior, I know not where 
she is to be found ; for, I do say, that in tenderness of 
feeling, in genuine native modesty, in large disinterested- 
ness, in sweetness of disposition and deep humility, in 
unselfish devotedness, and in warm, motherly assi- 
duities, the Negro woman is unsurpassed by any other 
woman on this earth. 

The testimony to this effect is almost universal — our 
enemies themselves being witnesses. You know how 
widely and how continuously, for generations, the 
Negro has been traduced, ridiculed, derided. Some of 
you may remember the journals and the hostile criti- 
cisms of Coleridge and Trollope and Burton, West 
Jno!ian and African'travelers. Very many of you may 


remember the philosophical disquisitions of the ethno- 
logical school of 1847, the contemptuous dissertations 
of Hunt and Gliddon. But it is worthy of notice in all 
these cases that the sneer, the contempt, the bitter gibe, 
have been invariable leveled against the black man — 
never against the black woman ! On the contrary, she 
has almost everywhere been extolled and eulogized. 
The black man was called a stupid, thick-lipped, flat- 
nosed, long-heeled, empty-headed animal; the link 
between the baboon and the human being, only fit to be 
a slave ! But everywhere, even in the domains of 
slavery, how tenderly has the Negress been spoken of! 
She has been the nurse of childhood. To her all the 
cares and heart-griefs of youth have been intrusted. 
Thousands and tens of thousands in the West Indies 
and in our Southern States have risen up and told the 
tale of her tenderness, of her gentleness, patience, and 
affection. No other woman in the world has ever had 
such tributes to a high moral nature, sweet, gentle love, 
and unchanged devotedness. And by the memory of 
my own mother and dearest sisters I can declare it to 
be true ! 

Hear the tribute of Michelet: "The Negress, of all 
others, is the most loving, the most generating; and 
this, ,not only because of her youthful blood, but we 
must also admit, for the richness of her heart. She is 
loving among the loving, good among the good (ask 
the travelers whom she has so often saved). Goodness 
is creative, it is fruitfulness, it is the very benediction of 
a holy act. The fact that woman is so fruitful I 


attribute to her treasures of tenderness, to that ocean of 
goodness which permeates her heart. Africa 

is a woman. Her races are feminine. In 

many of the black tribes of Central Africa the women 
rule, and they are as intelligent as they are amiable and 

The reference in Michelet to the generosity of the 
African woman to travelers brings to mind the incident 
in Mungo Park's travels, where the African women fed, 
nourished, and saved him. The men had driven him 
away. They would not even allow him to feed with the 
cattle ; and so, faint, weary, and despairing, he went to 
a remote hut and lay down on the earth to die. One 
woman, touched with compassion, came to him, brought 
him food and milk, and at once he revived. Then he 
tells us of the solace and the assiduities of these gentle 
creatures for his comfort. I give you his own words : 
"The rites of hospitality thus performed toward a 
stranger in distress, my worthy benefactress, pointing 
to the mat, and telling me that I might sleep there 
without apprehension, called to the female part of her 
family which had stood gazing on me all the while in 
fixed astonishment, to resume the task of spinning 
cotton, in which they continued to employ themselves 
a great part of the night. They lightened their labors 
by songs, one of which was composed extempore, for I 
was myself the subject of it. It was sung by one of the 
young women, the rest joining in a sort of chime. The 
air was sweet and plaintive, and the words, literally 

*" Woman." From the French ot M. J. Michelet, pp. 132. Rudd & Carleton, N. Y, 


translated, were these: 'The winds roared and the 
rains fell ; the poor white man, faint and weary, came 
and sat under our tree. He has no mother to bring 
him milk, no wife to grind his corn. Let us pity the 
white man, no mother has he,' " etc., etc. 

Perhaps I may be pardoned the intrusion, just here, 
on my own personal experience. During a residence 
of nigh twenty years in West Africa, I saw the beauty 
and felt the charm of the native female character. I 
saw the native woman in her heathen state, and was 
delighted to see, in numerous tribes, that extraordinary 
sweetness, gentleness, docility, modesty, and especially 
those maternal solicitudes which make every African 
boy both gallant and defender of his mother. 

I saw her in her civilized state, in Sierra Leone ; saw 
precisely the same characteristics, but heightened, dig- 
nified, refined, and sanctified by the training of the 
schools, the refinements of civilization, and the graces 
of Christian sentiment and feeling. Of all the mem- 
ories of foreign travel there are none more delightful 
than those of the families and the female friends of 

A French traveler speaks with great admiration of 
the black ladies of Hayti. "In the towns," he says, 
" I met all the charms of civilized life. The graces of 
the ladies of Port-au-Prince will never be effaced from 
my recollections."* 

It was, without doubt, the instant discernment of 
these fine and tender qualities which prompted the 

* See " Jamaica in 1850." By John Bigelow. 



touching Sonnet of Wordsworth, written in 1802, on 
the occasion of the cruel exile of Negroes from France 
by the French Government: 

" Driven from the soil of France, a female came 

From Calais with us, brilliant in array, 

A Negro woman like a lady gay, 
Yet downcast as a woman fearing blame; a 

Mee% destitute, as seemed, of hope or aim 

She sat, from notice turning not away, 
But on all proffered intercourse did lay 

A weight of languid speech — or at the same 
Was silent, motionless in eyes and face. 

Meanwhile those eyes retained their tropic fire, 
Which burning independent of the mind, 

Joined with the luster of her rich attire 
j' To mock the outcast — O ye heavens be kind ! 

And feel thou earth for this afflicted race ! " * 

But I must remember that I am to speak not only of 
the neglects of the black woman, but also of her needs. 
And the consideration of her needs suggests the remedy 
which should be used for the uplifting of this woman 
from a state of brutality and degradation. 

-I have two or three plans to offer which, I feel 
assured, if faithfully used, will introduce widespread 
and ameliorating influences amid this large population. 

(a) The first of these is specially adapted to the 
adult female population of the South, and is designed 
for more immediate effect. I ask for the equipment 
and the mission of "sisterhoods" to the black women 
of the South.- I wish to see large numbers of practical 
Christian women, women of intelligence and piety; 

•Wordsworth, Sonnets dedicated to Liberty. 


women well trained in domestic economy; women who 
combine delicate sensibility and refinement with indus- 
trial acquaintance — scores of such women to go South ; 
to enter every Southern State; to visit "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin;" to sit down with "Aunt Chloe" and her 
daughters ; to show and teach them the ways and habits 
of thrift, economy, neatness, and order ; .to gather them 
into "Mothers' Meetings" and sewing schools; and by 
both lectures and "talks" guide these women and their 
daughters into the modes and habits of clean and 
orderly housekeeping. 

There is no other way, it seems to me, to bring 
about this domestic revolution. — We can not postpone 
this reformation to another generation. Postponement 
is the reproduction of the same evils in numberless 
daughters now coming up into life, imitators of the 
crude and untidy habits of their neglected mothers, and 
the perpetuation of plantation life to another genera- 
tion. No, the effect must be made immediately, in this 
generation, with the rude, rough, neglected women of 
the times. 

And it is to be done at their own homes, in their 
own huts. In this work all theories are useless. This 
is a practical need, and personal as practical. It is 
emphatically a personal work. It is to be done by ex- 
ample. The " Sister of Mercy," putting aside all fastid- 
iousness, is to enter the humble and, perchance, repul- 
sive cabin of her black sister, and gaining her confi- 
dence, is to lead her out of the crude, disordered, and 
miserable ways of her plantation life into neatness, 



cleanliness, thrift, and self-respect. In every commu- 
nity women could be found who would gladly welcome 
such gracious visitations and instructors, and seize with 
eagerness their lessons and teachings. Soon their 
neighbors would seek the visitations which had lifted up 
friends and kinsfolk from inferiority and wretchedness. 
And then, erelong, whole communities would crave the 
benediction of these inspiring sisterhoods* and thou- 
sands and tens of thousands would hail the advent of 
these missionaries in their humble cabins. And then 
the seed of a new and orderly life planted in a few huts 
and localities, it would soon spread abroad, through 
the principle of imitation, and erelong, like the Banyan- 
tree, the beneficent work would spread far and wide 
through large populations. Doubtless they would be 
received, first of all, with surprise, for neither they nor 
their mothers, for two hundred years, have known the 
solicitudes of the great and cultivated for their domes- 
tic comfort. But surprise would soon give way to joy 
and exultation. Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler, in her 
work, "Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation 
in 1838—39," tells us of the amazement of the wretched 
slave woman on her husband's plantation when she 
went among them, and tried to improve their quarters 
and to raise them above squalor; and then of their 
immediate joy and gratitude. 

There is nothing original in the suggestion I make 
for the "Sisters of Mercy." It is no idealistic and im- 
practical scheme I am proposing, no new-fangled notion 
that I put before you. The Roman Catholic Church 


has, for centuries, been employing the agency of 
women in the propagation of her faith and as dispensers 
of charity. The Protestants of Germany are noted for 
the effective labors of holy women, not only in the 
Fatherland but in some of the most successful missions 
among the heathen in modern times. The Church of 
England, in that remarkable revival which has lifted 
her up as by a tidal wave, from the dead passivity of 
the last century, to an apostolic zeal and fervor never 
before known in her history, has shown, as one of her 
main characteristics, the wonderful power of "Sister- 
hoods," not only in the conversion of reprobates, but 
in the reformation of whole districts of abandoned men 
and women. This agency has been one of the most 
effective instrumentalities in the hands of that special 
school of devoted men called "Ritualists." Women of 
every class in that Church, many of humble birth, and 
as many more from the ranks of the noble, have left 
home and friends and the choicest circles of society, 
and given up their lives to the lowliest service of the 
poor and miserable. They have gone down into the very 
slums of her great cities, among thieves and murderers 
and harlots ; amid filth and disease and pestilence ; and 
for Christ's sake served and washed and nursed the most 
repulsive wretches ; and then have willingly laid down 
and died, either exhausted by their labors or poisoned 
by infectious disease. Any one who will read the life 
of "Sister Dora" and of Charles Lowder, will see the 
glorious illustrations of my suggestion. Why can not 
this be done for the black women of the South? 



(b) My second suggestion is as follows, and it reaches 
over to the future. I am anxious for a permanent and 
uplifting civilization to be engrafted on the Negro race 
in this land. And this can only be secured through 
the womanhood of a race. If you want the civilization 
of a people to reach the very best elements of their 
being, and then, having reached them, there to abide, 
as an indigenous principle, you must imbue the woman- 
hood of that people with all its elements and qualities. 
Any movement which passes by the female sex is an 
ephemeral thing. Without them, no true nationality, 
patriotism, religion, cultivation, family life, or true social 
status is a possibility In this matter it takes two to 
make one — mankind is a duality- The male may bring, 
as an exotic, a foreign graft, say of a civilization, to a 
new people. But what then? Can a graft live or 
thrive of itself? By no manner of means. It must get 
vitality from the stock into which it is put ; and it is the 
women who give the sap to every human organization 
which thrives and flourishes on earth. 

I plead, therefore, for the establishment of at least 
one large "INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL" in every Southern 
State for the black girls of the South. I ask for the 
establishment of schools which may serve especially 
the home life of the rising womanhood of my race. I 
am not soliciting for these girls scholastic institutions, 
seminaries for the cultivation of elegance, conservatories 
of music, and schools of classical and artistic training. 
I want such schools and seminaries for the women of 
my race as much as any other race ; and I am glad 


that there are such schools and colleges, and that 
scores of colored women are students within their walls. 

But this higher style of culture is not what I am. aim- 
ing after for this great need. I am seeking something 
humbler, more homelike and practical, in which the 
education of the land and the use of the body shall be 
the specialties, and where the intellectual training will 
be the incident. 

Let me state just here definitely what I want for the 
black girls of the South : 

1 . I want boarding-schools for the industrial training 
of one hundred and fifty or two hundred of the poorest 
girls, of the ages of twelve to eighteen years. 

2. I wish the intellectual training to be limited to 
reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography. 

3. I would have these girls taught to do accurately 
all domestic work, such as sweeping floors, dusting 
rooms, scrubbing, bed making, washing and ironing, 
sewing, mending, and knitting. 

4. I would have the trades of dressmaking, millinery, 
straw-platting, tailoring for men, and such like, taught 


5. The art of cooking should be made a specialty, 
and every girl should be instructed in it. 

6. In connection with these schools, garden plats 
should be cultivated, and every girl should be required, 
daily, to spend at least an hour in learning the cultiva- 
tion of small fruits, vegetables, and flowers. 

I am satisfied that the expense of establishing such 
schools would be insignificant. As to their mainten- 


ance, there can be no doubt that, rightly managed, they 
would in a brief time be self-supporting. Each school 
would soon become a hive of industry, and a source of 
income. But the good they would do is the main con- 
sideration. Suppose that the time of a girl's schooling 
be limited to three, or perchance to two years. It is 
hardly possible to exaggerate either the personal family 
or society influence which would flow from these 
schools. Every class, yea, every girl in an outgoing 
class, would be a missionary of thrift, industry, common 
sense, and practicality. They would go forth, year by 
year, a leavening power into the houses, towns, and 
villages of the Southern black population ; girls fit to 
be thrifty wives of the honest peasantry of the South, 
the worthy matrons of their numerous households. 

I am looking after the domestic training of the 
MASSES ; for the raising up women . meet to be the 
helpers of poor men the RANK AND FILE of black 
society, all through the rural districts of the South. 
The city people and the wealthy can seek more ambi- 
tious schools, and should pay for them. 

■Ladies and gentlemen, since the day of emancipation 
millions of dollars have been given by the generous 
Christian pe'ople of the North for the intellectual train- 
ing of the black race in this land. Colleges and 
universities have 'been built in the South, and hundreds 
6f youth have been gathered within their walls. The 
work of your own Church in this regard has been 
magnificent and unrivaled, and the results which have 
been attained have been grand and elevating to the 


entire Negro race in America. The complement to all 
this generous and ennobling effort is the elevation of 
the black woman. Up to this day and time your noble 
philanthropy has touched, for the most part, the male 
population of the South, given them superiority, and 
stimulated them to higher aspirations. But a true 
civilization can only then be attained when the life of 
woman is reached, her whole being permeated by noble 
ideas, her fine taste enriched by culture, her tendencies 
to the beautiful gratified and developed, her singular 
and delicate nature lifted up to its full capacity; and 
then, when all these qualities are fully matured, culti- 
vated and sanctified, all their sacred influences shall 
circle around ten thousand firesides, and the cabins of 
the humblest freedmen shall become the homes of 
Christian refinement and of domestic elegance through 
the influence and the charm of the uplifted and culti- 
vated black woman of the South ! 

A Defence of the Negro Race in 




— OF — 

Rev. J. L. TUCKER, D. Z>., of Jackson, Mississippi, 


THIS is peculiarly the age of criticism, and neither 
the sensitiveness nor the weakness of peoples can ex- 
empt them from its penetrating search or its pointed 
strictures. Criticism, however, in order to perform its 
functions aright, must submit to certain laws of respon- 
sibility, and be held by certain rules of restraint. It 
must deal with facts, and not with fancies and con- 
jectures. It must not indulge what Butler calls the 
"forward and delusive faculty" of the imagination, 
"ever intruding beyond its- sphere." It must avoid 
coloring its facts with the hues of its own self-conscious- 
ness or feelings. It must be rigidly just in its inferen- 
tial processes. Nothing can be more ludicrous than to 
make a wide generalization from the narrow circle of a 
provincialism, and nothing more unjust. • 

It is because Dr. Tucker's paper " On THE RELA- 
TIONS of the Church to the Colored Race"* 
is defective in these several points that I have under- 
taken, at the suggestion of reverend brethren of my 
own race and Church, a refutation of it. We are all 

•Paper read at the "Church Congress" [Prot. Epis. Church], Richmond, Va v 
Oct., 1882. 


fully aware of the weaknesses, and, to a large extent, of 
the degradation of our race in this country ; for the race 
has been a victim race. Our children have been vic- 
timized, our men have been victimized, and alas ! worse 
than all, our women have been victimized — generation 
after generation, two hundred years and more, down to 
the present ! We make no pretense that our people, 
by miraculous impulse, have of a sudden risen entirely 
above the malarial poison of servitude. We know 
better than this, and we mourn their shortcomings. 
But we know, also, that a marvelous change has taken 
place in all the sections of their life — social, civil, educa- 
tional, ecclesiastical — since the day of freedom ; and we 
regard it a most grievous misdemeanor in Dr. Tucker 
that he has blindly ignored that change. 

I have read Dr. Tucker's pamphlet with very much 
care and attention, and I cannot resist the conclusion 
that it is one of the most unjust and injurious state- 
ments that I have ever met with. First of all, on the 
hypothesis that his representation of the moral condi- 
tion of the Negro is correct — but which I deny — his 
pamphlet, instead of being a lamentation over wrong 
and injustice, is an INDICTMENT, alike gross and unde- 
serving, of a deeply-wronged people. Unless I greatly 
misunderstand Dr Tucker, and his endorsers also, he 
attributes gross moral depravity, general lewdness, dis- 
honesty, and hypocrisy as Negro peculiarities, and as 
such constitutional to him. But I beg to say that these 
charges are unjust. These traits of character, so far as 
they maintain at the South, are American character- 


istics — the legitimate outcome of the pernicious system 
of bondage which has crushed this race for more than 
two hundred years. For, first, when Dr. Tucker and 
his endorsers declare that the Negro, as suck, is void of 
th 2 family feeling; that moral purity is an unknown 
virtue ; that dishonesty is almost an instinct ; that both 
economy and acquisitiveness are exotics in his nature, 
they testify that of which they do not kno\fr. 


I have lived nigh twenty years in West Africa. I 
have come in contact with peoples of not less than 
forty tribes, and I aver, from personal knowledge and 
acquaintance, that the picture drawn by Dr. Tucker is 
a caricature. I am speaking of the native Negro, (a) 
All along the West Coast of Africa the family tie and 
the marriage bond are as strong as among any other 
primitive people. The very words in which Cicero and 
Tacitus describe the homes and families of the Ger- 
manic tribes can as truly be ascribed to the people of 
the West Coast of Africa, (b) Their maidenly virtue, 
the instinct to chastity, is a marvel. I have no hesita- 
tion in the generalization that, in West Africa, every 
female is a virgin to the day of her marriage. The harlot 
class is unknown in all their tribes. I venture the asser- 
tion that any one walking through Pall Mall, London, or 
Broadway, New York, for a week, would see more inde- 
cency in look and act than he could discover in an Afri- 
can town in a dozen years. During my residence there 
I only once saw an indecent act. Of course polygamy 


— and polygamy is the exceptional fact — bring, in 
Africa, all its common disastrous fruits : intrigue, un- 
faithfulness, adultery. But these are human, not Negro, 
results, cropping out from an unnatural system. (c) 
And then, when you come to the question of honesty, 
the state of society in Africa settles that point. Heathen 
though these people are, their system is a most orderly 
one — filled everywhere with industrious activities ; the 
intercourse of people regulated by rigid law. The whole 
continent is a beehive. The markets are held regularly 
at important points. Caravans, laden with products, 
are constantly crossing the entire continent; and large, 
nay at times immense, multitudes are gathered together 
for sale and barter at their markets. Such a state of 
society is incompatible with universal theft and robbery. 

I know somewhat the reputation of the "Yankee;" 

and the nature of the Jew has made his name a 

.synonym. But if either Jew or Yankee possesses more 

of the acquisitive feeling than the native African, then 

I have failed in my knowledge of human nature. 

Of course the wants of the African are inferior to 
those of the Yankee or the Jew ; but that the masterful 
instinct of greed stimulates the entire continent is wit- 
nessed by the strong trading tendencies of almost every 
tribe ; by the universal demand for foreign goods ; by 
the search for outlets for native products ; and by the 
immense trade which is poured out of every river into 
the holds of foreign vessels.* 

* See the testimony of celebrated African travellers— Mungo Park, Ledyard, Adanson, 
Laing, &c, &c. 




But perchance Dr. Tucker will insist that the portrait 
he gives of the Southern Negro is a true one. He is 
void of family feeling ; he is lewd ; he is a liar and self- 
deceiver ; he is dishonest and improvident. Grant, for 
the moment, that this representation of the American 
Negro is correct. I have shown that these characteris- 
tics are not native to the race. Whence then this 
divergence of character from the original type? Why 
is the black man in America so different in morality 
from his pagan brother in Africa? 

Look at Dr. Tucker's picture of the moral degrada- 
tion of this people. I do not wish to do him the least 
injustice. Nevertheless I think I may repeat St. Paul's 
summary of the moral condition of the Pagan Romans, 
of his day, as the equivalent of Dr. Tucker's character- 
ization of the American Negro. I leave it to the reader 
to strike out the few epithets in Rom. I, 29; or I Tim. 
1, 9 and 10, which may seem inapplicable to this case,* 
for Dr. T. charges the race, as a class, with hypocrisy, 
lying, stealing, adultery, &c. 

Now this is one of the most appalling representa- 
tions that has ever been put upon paper, {a) Here is 
a nation of people, for a population that runs up its 
numbers to six or seven millions, is not merely a 

* Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, mali- 
ciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers. Rom. i: 29. 

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and 
disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for whoremongers, 
for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound 
doctrine. I Tim. 1 : 9 and 10. 


people — it is a NATION. Here then is a nation, resident 
for more than seven generations amid the vast popula- 
tions of this Christian country; and yet, as Dr. Tucker 
avers, so low and degraded in moral character, that he, 
himself, is forced even now, after twenty years of free- 
dom, to declare that they are a demoralized people on 
the downward track to ruin. 

(#) Yet notice that this Negro nation has been for 
two centuries under the absolute control and moulding 
of the Christian Church and people of the South. 
They have not been separate in locality, as the Israel- 
ites in Goshen were, from the Egyptians. They have 
been living, in all their generations, on the farms and 
in the houses and families of their masters. So 
thoroughly intermingled have they been with the life 
and society of their superiors that they have lost en- 
tirely their native tongues, and have taken English as 
their vernacular. Moreover, they presented the resist- 
ance of no organic religion to the faith of their masters. 
They had a heterogeneous paganism when they came 
from Africa — so inchoate and diversified that it soon fell 
before the new circumstances in which they were placed. 

(<:) Hence, it is evident ( I ) that the paganism of the 
African was no formidable obstacle to the Christian 
Church; (2) that the Christian Church had the' oppor- 
tunity of easy conquest ; and (3) joining to the numeri- 
cal inferiority of the Negro population the vast re- 
sources of the Southern Christian, in all the elements of 
power and available resources, we can see at once the 
high vantage ground of the Christian Church. 


(d) But what now is the fact presented by Dr. 
Tucker? It is this, viz.: That after two and a half 
centuries, the black race in the South is still in a state 
of semi-barbarism, slightly veneered by a Christian 
profession. Their religion (I use his own words) is 
"an outward form of Christianity with an inward sub- 
stance of full license given to all desires and passions." 
(Page 18.) 

Let us take Dr. Tucker at his word ; and what, I 
ask — what is the inference to be drawn from this state 
of things? I state the conclusion with the greatest 
sorrow; but it seems irresistible, i. e., that the Christian 
Church in the South, with the grandest opportunity for 
service for Christ, and with the very best facilities, has 
been a failure ! It has had one of the widest mis- 
sionary fields ! It has had this field of service open 
before it two hundred years, and it has hardly attempted 
to enter it ! It has been full of missionary zeal for the 
peoples of Greece and Asia, for India, and even the 
West African Negro, but it has lacked the missionary 
heart for the millions of Negroes on its own plantations 
and in its own households ! 


I do not deny that there is wide-spread demoraliza- 
tion among the Southern black population. How 
could it be otherwise? Their whole history for two 
hundred years has been a history of moral degradation 
deeper and more damning than their heathen status in 


Africa. I am speaking of aggregates. I grant the 
incidental advantages to scores and hundreds which 
have sprung from contact with Christian people. I am 
speaking of the moral condition of the MASSES, who 
have been under the yoke ; and I unhesitatingly affirm 
that they would have been more blessed and far supe- 
rior, as pagans, in Africa than slaves on the plantations 
of the South. 

Bishop Howe, of South Carolina, calls slavery "a 
schoolmaster to the black man." Bishop Gregg de- 
clares that "it brought its benefits and blessings." I 
am filled with amazement that men of sense and reason 
can thus travesty plain, common English, and talk such 
senseless stuff! "Schoolmaster!" And pray what sort 
of a schoolmaster has slavery proven? Why, the slave 
system has had the black man under training two hun- 
dred years, and yet never in all this period has it 
developed one Negro community of strength or great- 
ness ! Never raised up anywhere an intelligent, thrifty, 
productive peasantry ! Never built up a single Negro 
institution of any value to mankind ! Never produced 
a single scientific or scholarly or learned black man ! 
Its only fruit has been darkness, degradation, semi- 
barbarism, immorality, agonies, and death ! GARNET, 
Douglass, Ward, and Pennington were men of the 
largest mould. But each had to run away from the 
South to get the development of their colossal natures 
amid Northern institutions ! 

And so, too, since emancipation. All the black men 
of conspicuous genius or character South have had to 


get out of the oid slave region and come North for the 
training and development of their intellect. The little 
Colony of Sierra Leone, with a population of 90,000, 
has been in existence one hundred years. Will their 
Reverences show me anywhere in America any such 
results as that Colony exhibits in letters, civilization, 
commercial enterprise, manhood, and religion, which 
have come from two hundred years' tenure of slavery on 
American soil ? Will they declare that their " SCHOOL- 
MASTER" has bred such men, started such enterprises, 
and developed such missionary ventures as the handful 
of Negroes in that little English colony? -School- 
master" indeed! Is it not an abuse of the English 
language and of common sense to print such verbiage? 
Look for a few moments at the moral status and train- 
ing of the black race under slavery, and see if anything 
else but demoralization could be the fruit thereof? 

1st. They were left, as to religion, to themselves. 
Their ministers were almost universally ignorant and 
unlettered men. As the ambition and cleverness of the 
race, under slavery, could find no other channel than 
the ministry, the piety of ministers was but an incident; 
and so men anxious for rule and authority, but withal 
ofttimes unscrupulous and godless as well as ignorant, 
became their preachers. Not all such indeed; but 
alas ! in large proportions ! Good but illiterate men 
numbers of the field preachers were. But large num- 
bers of them were unscrupulous and lecherous scound- 
rels ! This was a large characteristic of "plantation 
religion;" cropping out even to the present, in the 


extravagances and wildness of many of their religious 
practices ! 

2. Their religion, both of preachers and people, was 
a religion without the Bible — a crude medley of scraps 
of Scripture, fervid imaginations, dreams, and supersti- 
tions. So thorough was the legal interdict of letters 
and teaching, that the race, as a whole, knew nothing 
of the Scriptures nor of the Catechisms of the churches. 
I state it as a strong conviction, the result of wide 
inquiry, that at the close of the civil war not five hun- 
dred blacks among four and a half millions of my race 
could be found, in the entire South, who knew the 
"Assembly's Catechism;" not five hundred who 
knew, in its entirety, the CATECHISM of the Episcopal 
Church. The Ten Commandments were as foreign 
from their minds and memories as the Vedas of India 
or the moral precepts of Confucius. Ignorance of the 
MORAL Law was the main characteristic of " PLANTA- 
TION Religion ! " 

3. Sad as are these facts in the history of the race, 
one further item is horrifying; and that is that the 
prime functions of the race, under slavery were 1st, 
Lust, and 2d, unrequited labor. This the most 
serious feature of the whole slave system ; and upon it 
a volume might be written. But I confine myself to 
the statement of a few simple glaring facts. 

In speaking of the licentious and demoralizing nature 
of slavery, I am speaking of its general influences. I 
have no time to waste upon exceptional features. There 
are black men who tell me that all slave-holders were 


tyrants and Legrees; but such men I know to be 
fanatics. There are white men who tell me that slave- 
holders in general were fathers to their slaves ; but such 
men are manifestly fools. Slave-holders, like all other 
sorts of men were divided into two classes — the good 
and the bad : the good, like Baronial lords, like Patri- 
archs of old, like the grand aristocrats of civilized 
society, were kind, generous, humane, and fatherly; 
they were NOBLEMEN ; and there was a large class of 
such men. The bad, and they were the mass of slave- 
holders, were full of greed, tyranny, unscrupulousness, 
and carnality. They herded their slaves together like 
animals. They were allowed to breed like cattle. The 
marriage relation was utterly disregarded. All through 
the rural districts, on numerous plantations, the slaves 
for generations merely mated and cohabited, as beasts. 
They were separated at convenience, caprice, or at the 
call of interest. When separated each took up with 
other men or women as lust or inclination prompted. 
Masters and ministers of the gospel taught their slaves, 
not only that there was no sin in such alliances, but 
that it was their duty to make new alliances and exer- 
cise the animal function of breeding. And hence the 
cases are numerous where men, sold from one planta- 
tion to another, have had six and eight living wives ; 
and women, as many living husbands. Nay more than 
this, I have the testimony where one man less than fifty 
years old was the father of over sixty children; of 
another man who was kept on a plantation with full 
license as a mere breeder of human beings ! And from 


this disastrous system, so wide has been the separation 
of families and the rending of the ties of relationship, 
that now after twenty years of freedom, one cannot 
take up a copy of the eighty or ninety COLORED NEWS- 
PAPERS printed in the United States without finding at 
times a score of inquiries of husbands for wives and of 
wives for husbands ; of children for parents and of 
parents for children. Ever and anon I meet with a 
woman who had a dozen children sold from her; and 
in her old age, with living children, is childless, not 
knowing where they are ! And one case came to my 
knowledge where a woman married her own son, sold 
from her in his early boyhood ; and only discovered 
the relationship months after the marriage ! 

Of this gross carnality of the slave system, trained 
into the blood for generations, until they became mere 
animals, we see symptoms cropping out ever and anon, 
in the atrocious acts which are reported in southern 
newspapers. The slave system is indeed dead, but its 
deadly fruit still survives. But it should be remem- 
bered that these gross sins are common as well among 
the whites of the South as among its black population. 
It filled them full of lust as well as their victims.* 

One would have supposed that with these appalling 
facts staring him in the face, Dr. Tucker would have 
taken up the wail of lamentation — 

" We have offended. Oh, my countrymen ! 
We have offended very grievously, 
And been most tyrannous. From East to West 

• See " A Journey to the Back Country " and " Sea Side and Slave States," by Fred- 
erick Law Olmstead, 


A groan of accusation pierces Heaven ! 

The wretched plead against us; multitudes, 

Countless and vehement, the sons of God, 

Our brethren ! Like a cloud that travels on 

Steam'd up from Cairo's swamps of pestilence. 

Even so, my countrymen ! have we gone forth 

And borne to injur'd tribes slavery and pangs; 

And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint 

With slow perdition murders the whole man, 

His body and his soul. Coleridge. 

Alas, nothing of the kind is visible in all this 
pamphlet! It is an INDICTMENT, from beginning to 
end, of the victimized and wronged people ! Bishops, 
presbyters, and laymen all unite in a dark picturing of 
an entire race, almost oblivious of any wrong-doing on 
their part ! Some of these men are painstaking in the 
endeavor to show that the difficulty lies in the in- 
herent NATURE OF THE NEGRO ! Poor miserable 
obtuse creature, he has been to SCHOOL two hundred 
years ! He has had Bishop Howe's "schoolmaster," 
and all his teachings ; but he still remains an ignorant, 
stupid, semi-barbarous animal ! It is the Negro ! the 
Negro ! 

And Dr. Tucker, instead of a wail of lamentation at 
the neglect and outrage which has brought this race to 
degradation, not only ignores all the* conspicuous facts 
of Negro progress since emancipation, but actually 
enters a gross and exaggerated charge of deterioration 
against the entire race. Nay, worse than this ; when 
confronted by brother clergymen, who deny his charges, 
he goes to work to gather in from every quarter every 
possible charge of infamy against them ! It is evi- 


dently a disguised attempt to prove EMANCIPATION A 


This indictment of the black race is a false one. I 
care not how generous may be the professions of Dr. 
Tucker, his statement before the Episcopal Congress at 
Richmond was an outrage, and his charges untrue and 
slanderous. I set before me, at this point, especially, 
the following summary of his charges. He says 
(p. 2 1 ) ; " The great facts stare us in the face — that the 
race is increasing largely in numbers ; that since the war 
but few of them have come tip above the moral level of 
the race ; that the average level in material prosperity is 
but little Jiigher than it was before the war } that in 
morality tJiere has been a great deterioration since the 
rejnoval of the restraints of slavery; that there is now 
no upward movement zvhatever in morals, and if there 
is any change it is downward." 

I address myself to the proof that these charges are 


1st. The admission in this paragraph, viz: that the 
race is increasing largely in numbers" is a refutation of 
the charge of general deterioration. Nothing is more 
established than the fact that a people given up to con- 
cubinage and license lose vitality and decline in num- 
bers. Through unbridled lust and the commonality of 


their women whole islands in the Pacific seas have long 
since taken up 

"funeral marches to the grave;" 

and their populations have become utterly extinct. 
And so everywhere on earth the integrity and the ad- 
vance of a people's population have been conditioned 
on the growth and the permanency of the family feel- 
ing. The last census of the nation (1882) bears out 
these .fundamental principles. The increase of the 
black population from 4,880,009, in 1870, to 6,577,497, 
in 1882, is in itself a complete refutation of Dr. Tucker's 
assertion. Its full force can only be seen in connection 
with another fact, viz : that in the face of the enormous 
immigration from Europe, added to the natural increase 
of the American white population, the rate of increase 
is 34.8 for the black race to 29.2 for the white. 

Observe that the rate of increase of the slave popu- 
lation in the decades, viz., from 1850 to i860, was 23.38, 
from i860 to 1870, was 9.9. 

But now we have the fact that as soon as slavery 
declines, up springs this population to the enormous 
rate of 34.8.* Will Dr. Tucker tell me that no moral 
facts underlie this growth of a people? That numeri- 

* It must be remembered, too, that this increase of the colored people is entirely by 
native birth. More colored people left these States during every one of these decades 
than came to them. 

It will be noticed also that the rate of growth by birth in a state of freedom has been 
much more rapid than in a state of slavery; thirty-four per cent, being the rate since they 
were emancipated, while twenty-two per cent, was the average of increase during the last 
two decades in a state of slavery. These facts clearly indicate that the physical condition 
of the colored people has been greatly improved since they became free men, and no 
longer merchantable chattels to be bought and sold. — From " The Field," in paper of 
Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. 


cal increase is merely the manifestation of animality? 
Such an assertion is both false and unphilosophical. 
The vitality of a people is a sure indication of several 
high qualities. Mere human animals can live and in- 
crease nowhere. They are doomed everywhere to 
destruction. "No country," says Mr. Burke — I substi- 
tute "people" — "No people in which population 
flourishes and is in progressive improvement can be 
under a very mischievous government." Freedom then 
is a better government than slavery. 

No, the growth of population evinces the presence 
of moral qualities. It is a manifestation of industrial 
forces. It witnesses the existence of the family instinct. 
It points out forecast, the use of material agencies, and 
the play of divers intelligent qualities which are abso- 
lutely necessary to the persistency of life and the 
attainment of some of the higher planes of being. 

But, second, the educational progress of the race, re- 
futes Dr. Tucker's charge of deterioration. Previous 
to emancipation the black race, so far as the intellect 
is concerned, was a dead race ! Look at this people 
at the present. There is, I know, vast illiteracy among 
the southern blacks. But there are two sides to all 
questions ; and there is a view of this question which is 
full of cheer and encouragement. 

Remember, then, that previous to emancipation there 
were not more than 30,000 people of color in the Union 
who could read and write. At the North those trained 
in the schools were chiefly confined to the large cities. 
In the rural districts tens of thousands were cruelly 


neglected. At the South, education was a thing univer- 
sally interdicted by law ; secured only by stealth ; and 
then confined to only a small fraction of the race. 
Take these facts into consideration, and then consider 
the grand fact that this day there are 738,164 of this 
race in annual attendance at school.* Consider that a 
large number of these have advanced to. a knowledge 
of grammar, geography, and history ! Consider that 
no small portion of these are persons who have 
stretched forth to philosophic acquaintance and some 
of the acquisitions of science and literature ! Consider 
that over 15,000 of them are employed as teachers! 
Consider that in this immense army of scholars there 
is a grand regiment of undergraduates in fifteen col- 
leges; then another, smaller, but not less important, 
phalanx fitting themselves for the legal and medical 
professions ; and then a larger host of sober, thought- 
ful, self-sacrificing men, who are looking forward to the 
pains, trials, and endurance of a thankless but glorious 
service as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Consider these large and magnificent facts, and you 
get somewhat an idea of the wonderful contrast between 
the bright and hopeful present and the dark and disas- 
trous night of our past intellectual history ! 

Join to this the other significant fact that this large 
reading population has created a demand for a new 
thing in the history of the race — NEWSPAPER LlTERA- 

* This is the number reported by Hon. Augustus Orr, State School Commissioner of 
Georgia, in 1873. This statement included all Southern States except Arkansas, Florida, 
and Louisiana. The number at this time must well nigh reach 1,000,000. See " Our 
Brothei in Black," p. 166, by Rev. A. S. Haygood, D. D. 


TURE. And thus have sprung into existence over 
EIGHTY newspapers edited by men of the Negro race. 
All this, be it noticed, in a downward-going race ! 


Enrolment of colored youths, as far as reported 
by State school officers, for the year 1880, 784,709. 

Per cent, of the colored youth of school age enrolled, 
about 48. 
Colored school teachers in U. S. A. 

Males 10,520 

Females 5,3 14 

Total I5>834 

NORMAL SCHOOLS for colored youth, 44; teachers 
in these, 227 ; pupils in them, 7,408. 

High schools or academic, for them, 36 ; teachers 
in them, 120; pupils, 5,327. 

Universities and colleges for the race, 15; 
teachers in them, 119; students, 1,717. 

Schools of theology for them, 22 ; teachers in 
them, 65 ; pupils reported, 880. 

Schools of law, 3 ; teachers in these schools, 10; 
pupils in the same, 33. 

Schools of medicine, 2, with 17 teachers and 87 


Upon this topic Dr. Tucker gives us simply dogma- 
tism and assertion. He never — to use his own Ian- 


guage in reply to his critics — " undertakes to furnish 
proof" of his assertions. A man evidently of deep 
convictions, he is content to use frequent and most 
positive affirmations. "No one knows better than 
himself" the grave statements he makes ! He "knows" 
what he asserts "to be absolutely true ! " "The con- 
sensus of all authorities ( ?) establish them beyond the 
power of any man to overthrow them." This is Dr. 
Tucker's usual style. 

All this, let me remind Dr. Tucker, is but OPINION, 
unsupported, as are the statements of himself and his 
endorsers, by a single item of documentary or official 
testimony. And "opinion," says no less an authority 
than John LOCKE, is "the admitting or receiving any 
proposition for true upon arguments or proof that are 
found to persuade us to receive it as true without cer- 
tain knowledge that it is so." Or, in other words, 
opinion is altogether a subjective thing. But FACTS, 
Dr. Tucker will observe, are objective, i. e., outside of 
the range of imagination, conjecture, and likewise of 

I shall not follow Dr. Tucker in his peculiar mode of 
setting forth his case. I yield to him a monopoly of 
self-assertion and positiveness. Nevertheless, I shall 
present a few facts upon this subject which, if I do not 
greatly err, will lessen the weight of Dr. Tucker's cart- 
loads of intensity and exaggeration. 

I present here statistics of the religious status of the 
black race in the Southern States.* These statements 
are very imperfect. Items of considerable importance, 


such as baptisms, marriages, contributions, &c, are 
omitted, from the impossibility of securing details. I 
have not included the facts relating to Congregation- 
alists, Episcopalians, Campbellites, and Lutherans. I 
have only taken the work of those denominations 
which embrace the MASSES of the black population. 

Church Statistics of Black Population. 


Baptists probably 3,000 700,000 

Methodist Episcopal Church (Colored membership) not known 300,000 

African Methodist Episcopal 1.832 390,000 

Zion African Methodist Episcopal 2,000 300,000 

Colored Met'iodist Episcopal. . ._. 638 125,000 

Colored Methodist Episcopal Union ior 2,550 

Presbyterians 75 15,000 

7,646 1,832,552 

Here, then, we have an aggregate of nigh TWO MIL- 
LIONS of professed disciples amid the black population 
of the South. Putting aside all the other items relating 
to their religious life and conduct, I shall confine my- 
self to this single point of membership. What is to be 
said concerning it? We will, for Dr. Tucker's sake, 
make large concessions, (a) on account of the ignor- 
ance of these people; (b) for the taint of immorality, 
the heritage of slavery, which, doubtless, largely leavens 
their profession; and (c) because their religion is cer- 
tainly greatly alloyed with phrensy and hysteria, and 
tinged with the dyes of superstition. 

But, after all, is it not, in the main, genuine and true? 
Is it not, simple and childish though it be, in its es- 
sence, Christianity? Does it not lead to prayers, and 
faith, and Sabbath keeping, and holy meetings, and 
sacramental observances ? Does it not produce fruits of 


righteousness? Does it not beget astonishing self-sac- 
rifice for the glory of Jesus, and the lavish outpouring 
of moneys for the extension of Christ's kingdom and the 
building of churches? 

Surely this is the testimony of scores and hundreds — 
Presbyterians, Congregationalists, above all, Methodists 
and Baptists, the very men who have done tfre most for 
them, lived most with them, and who know them better 
than any others. 

Dr. Tucker, however, has deliberately declared of 
this immense multitude of Christians (i) "that they 
have a form of Christianity without its substance, and 
that they have no comprehension of what that substance 
ought to be !" (2) "That the great mass of them are 
hypocrites, and do not know it." (3) "That their re- 
ligion is an outward form of Christianity, with an inner 
substance of full license given to all desires and 
passions." (4) " That almost a whole race of them is 
going down into perdition before our eyes !"* 

We have a dreadful picture in the 1st Epistle of the 
Corinthians of the demoralization of an Apostolic 
Church ; and yet the holy Apostle St. Paul did not 
dare to speak of that church in the sweeping and de- 
structive way that Dr. Tucker speaks of millions of dis- 
ciples of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Southern Negro 

* The reader will bear in mind that these and similar statements of Dr. Tucker are ab- 
solutely contradictory of the statements of Southern men made at the period of Southern 
" Secession." Then the Southern clergy published to the world, as one ground of justifi- 
cation of their course, " their responsibility for hundreds of thousands of negro 
christians, whom they had converted. Then as slaves, they were christians." 
Now, zzfreemen, they are " hypocrites," going down to perdition ! The reconcile- 
ment of these inconsistencies I leave to others. 


churches. And I cannot but ask, if it is not a horrible 
thing that a minister of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ should thus assume the prerogative of Deity, and 
thus sit in judgment upon the character and piety of 
multitudes of people whom he has never seen, and of 
whom he knows nothing ! 

" Snatch from His hand the balance and the rod, 
Rejudge His justice, be the God of God !" 


Fourth. I turn from the religious advance of my 
people to their monetary and industrial condition. And 
here, too, as in the other cases referred to, there is 
every cause for thanksgiving. We are indeed a poor 
people — most likely the poorest, as a class, in the whole 
nation. The fact of poverty is unavoidable, for our 
history had one conspicuous peculiarity, viz. : that 
while enriching others, both law and slavery prevented 
us from enriching ourselves. At the period of emanci- 
pation both these hindrances were removed, and for the 
first time in two hundred years my people saw open be- 
fore them the pathway to wealth. The change in their 
monetary condition has been rapid. They have not, 
indeed, succeeded as yet in amassing wealth ; for, first, 
no people can extemporize a state of opulence sud- 
denly ; nor, second, has it been possible to break down 
straightway all the unhappy influences and hindrances 
of slavery. Caste, the eldest child of slavery, still ex- 
ists. But, notwithstanding all the difficulties in the 
way, the black race in this country has begun the race 



of wealth ; has succeeded in entering some of the golden 
avenues of prosperity and affluence. 

Twenty years ago it was a slave race. Over four 
millions of men and women did not own the bodies in 
which were enshrined the immortal spirits which re- 
sided therein. 

Out of those immortal spirits slavery had crushed 
every noble impulse and all the springs of action. And 
see now at once the marvelous change. The instinct 
of greed, dead for two centuries under the palsying in- 
fluences of slavery, has been resurrected by the genius 
of civil freedom. 

To-day this same people are the possessors of a wide 
domain of lands. Immense tracts of land have been 
brought by them into cultivation, and by this cultiva- 
tion they have become producers of the most valuable 

I am indebted to the Editor of the " PEOPLE'S ADVO- 
CATE" for the following facts : " In the State of Georgia 
the Negro owns 680,000 acres of land, cut up into farms ; 
and pays taxes on $9,000,000 worth of property. In 
the Cotton States he owns 2,680,800 acres." And he 
adds to this the significant remark: "Think of it, that 
in the Cotton States, including a fraction of over two- 
thirds of the race, the Negro, in seventeen years, has 
accumulated territory equal in extent to the size of the 
State of Connecticut." 

Let me suggest here another estimate of this landed 
property of the Negro, acquired since emancipation. 
Taking the old slave States in the general, there has. 


been a large acquisition of land in each and all of them. 
In the State of Georgia, as we have just seen, it was 
680,000 acres. Let us put the figure as low as 400,000 
for each State — for the purchase of farm lands has been 
everywhere a passion with the freedman — this 400,000 
acres multiplied into 14, i. e. the number of the chief 
Southern States, shows an aggregate of 5 ,600,000 acres 
of land, the acquisition of the black race in less than 
twenty years. 

But Dr. Tucker will observe a further fact of magni- 
tude in this connection : It is the increased PRO- 
DUCTION which has been developed on the part of the 
freedmen since emancipation. I present but one staple, 
and for the reason that it is almost exclusively the re- 

I will take the five years immediately preceding the 
late civil war and compare them with the five years pre- 
ceding the last year's census-taking; and the contrast 
in the number of cotton-bales produced will show the 
industry and thrift of the black race as a consequent on 
the gift of freedom : 

Years. Bales. Years. Bales. 

1857 2,939,519 1878 4,811,265 

1858 3,113,962 1879 5.073.53 1 

1859 3,851,481 1880 5,757,397 

i860 4,669,770 1881 6,589,329 

1861 3,656,006 1882 5,435,845 

Total 18,230,738 The five years' work 

of freedom 27,667,367 

The five years' work 

of slavery 18,230,738 

Balance in favor of 

freedom 9.436,659 

Now this item of production is a positive disproof of 
Dr. Tucker's statement, " that the average level in mate- 


rial prosperity is but little higher than it was before the 
war." Here is the fact that the Freedman has pro- 
duced one-third more in Jive years than he did in the 
same time when a slave ! 

Another view of this matter is still more striking. 
The excess of yield in cotton in seven years [i. e., from 
1875 to 1882] over the seven years [i. e., from 1854 to 
1 861] is 17,091,000 bales, being AN AVERAGE ANNUAL 
INCREASE OF 1,000,000 bales. If Dr. Tucker will 
glance at the great increase of the cotton, tobacco, and 
sugar crops South, as shown in Agricultural Reports 
from 1865 to 1882, and reflect that NEGROES have been 
the producers of these crops, he will understand their 
indignation at his outrageous charges of " laziness and 
vagabondage;" and perhaps he will listen to their de- 
mand that he shall take back the unjust and injurious 
imputations which, without knowledge and discrimina- 
tion, he makes against a whole race of people. 

This impulse to thrift on the part of the Freedmen 
was no tardy and reluctant disposition. It was the im- 
mediate offspring of freedom, and the result was — 

First. The founding of the Freedman'S Bank in 
the city of Washington. 

The following facts are worthy of notice : 

(a) This bank was opened in 1865 and closed in 

(b) No less than 61,000 Freedmen were the deposi- 
tors in this bank. 

(c) The depositors were men and women in every 
Southern State from Maryland to Louisiana. 


(d) The sum total of moneys deposited amounted to 
over $56,000,000. All which evidences character, in- 
dustry, moral energy, and the capability of self-support. 

The destruction of this Bank, through the rascality 
of white men, was a great calamity ; but it did not 
quench the ambition of the race. Since then other 
notable demonstrations of manly power have been shown 
by the freedmen. 

Second. The uprising of thousands in the South- 
west and their emigration with great loss of property, 
health, and life to the West, was not the act of degen- 
erate beings, but of high-souled and aspiring men — 
albeit they were poor and ignorant. They were cheated 
wholesale out of their wages by the very men — Dr. 
Tucker's neighbors — who, he tells us, " know the Ne- 
groes and love them" with the " tender remembrances 
of childhood !" These men, owners of wide, unculti- 
vated tracts of land, refused to sell these Freedmen the 
smallest patches, in order to keep them perpetual serfs 
of the soil. So, in deep indignation, they shook the 
dust of the South from their feet and carried their 
families into free Kansas, to secure freeholds, liberty, 
and education for their children. ***** 

Third. " The last census shows us that the colored 
people are assessed for over $91,000,000 worth of taxa- 
ble property. Does this look like an incurably thrift- 
less race?"* 

I have referred above to the large landed estate of the 
black man ; and I may add here that it is the result of 

•See speech of Rev. Dr. Allen, before Presbyterian General Assembly, 1883. 


his own sweatful toil. He has earned his own property. 
Unlike the Indian, he has had no one to prop him up. 
He was turned loose suddenly, without any capital, to 
undertake the duty of self-support. The nation acted 
as though it owed him no duty and no debt. It gave 
him his freedom to save its own life ; and then left him 
to struggle for life, if not to die ! Justice demanded 
that, after centuries of slavery, he should have been 
made the ward of the nation — at least until he learned 
the ways and provinces of freedom. He was turned 
out to die. 

But neither failure nor death was to be the destiny of 
the Negro. It never has been in any of the lands of 
his emancipation. Everywhere, when freedom has come 
to him, he has discovered all the proclivities to enter- 
prise and personal sustentation. It has been conspic- 
uously so in this nation. The Freedmen of this coun- 
try, on coming out of bondage, began at once all the 
laborious activities which their needs demanded, and 
which were required for the securing a foothold in this 

Of course this industrial enterprise was not universal. 
It never is universal in any people. Large numbers 
could not understand the situation ; could not see the 
grand vistas of opportunity and success which freedom 
opened before them. My own estimate of their pro- 
gress since emancipation is this, viz : (i) That about 
one-thlrd have fallen to a lower level than they were pre- 
vious to emancipation, viz : the aged, the decrepid, the 
imbruted, and the slaves of the meanest, lowest, whites. 


(2) That another third stand a little above their condi- 
tion when freedom was given them. And, (3) lastly, 
that the last third have risen to a state of superiority 
which already rivals the energy and progress of the 
American people in general. To start one-third of any 
people earnestly on the road of glorious progress is a 
grand result. For in all revolutions of society there is 
sure to be a great loss of man. For it is with men as 
it is with seeds — some spring up into life, and some 
seem to have no productive vitality at all. Says Bishop 
Butler: "For of the numerous seeds of vegetables and 
bodies of animals which are adapted and put in the 
way to improve to such a point or state of natural ma- 
turity and perfection, we do not see that one in a million 
actually does. For the greater part of them decay be- 
fore they are improved to it, and appear to be abso- 
lutely destroyed."* So, too, some men — large classes 
of men — are sure to fall behind in the race of life. 
But, as the immense loss of seeds does not contradict 
the fact of the prodigious wheat harvests of the West 
which supply the world with food, so the actual loss or 
decline of a third of the Freedmen does not contravene 
the fact of the real progress of the race. For this same 
relative loss is discovered in all peoples. It is seen in 
the white population of this land, notwithstanding all 
their advantages. Look into the alms and poor houses ; 
into the jails of the country; into the indigent quarters 
of the large cities ; examine the statistics of crime and 
poverty, and you will see that fully one-third of the 

* Butler's Analogy, Ch. V. 


white population is constantly going down. Indeed 
society everywhere advances only by the force and 
energy of minorities. It is the few who lift up and 
bear the burdens and give character to the many. But, 
nevertheless, it is advance ; and the human race in civil- 
ized countries is ever going upward. 

Just here I rest my case; and I submit that I 
have disproved Dr. Tucker's gross indrctment of 
my race. I have shown, by the evidence of incontro- 
vertible fact, by figures and statistics which cannot be 
denied — 

ist. That their numerical increase has been pro- 
digious ; 

2d. That their acquisition of property has been enor- 

3d. That they show almost a reduplicated capacity 
for production, the direct result of freedom ; 

4th. That their rise in education and religion has been 
almost like the resurrection of a people from death to 


I close this paper with a brief reference to Dr. Tucker's 
plans for the elevation of the Negro. 

They are as follows : 

ist. That the*Northern people shall furnish supplies 
of money for work among the Negroes ; 

2d. That Southern Missionaries shall use and dis- 
burse these moneys in church work among the black 




3d. That Northern Missionaries shall be excluded 
from this work. 

4th. That black men shall not be entrusted with the 
training and education of their brethren. 

As Dr. Tucker is evidently serious in these sug- 
gestions, I presume that I must take them up in as 
serious a manner as he presents them. 

Now, I beg to say that nothing can be more non- 
natural than the plans thus proposed. People, how- 
ever philanthropic, are rarely prepared to go it blind in 
the disbursements of moneys. Christian people es- 
pecially give as "stewards" of their Divine Master. 
They want to know, first of all, the quality of fitness in 
their almoners ; and, next, that they will use their 
moneys aright. But here is a proposition which re- 
verses all the settled principles of alms-giving. For — 

ist. It cleverly lays the burden of obligation in this 
matter upon the Northern people. Dr. Tucker says, 
" You freed the slaves and left them on our hands." * * * 
" Blood and trouble have come of it so far, and for this 
you of the North are largely to blame." But the 
question arises, Has freedom made the alleged heathen- 
ism of the Southern blacks any denser than slavery did? 
Has emancipation plunged the Southern blacks into 
ignorance and benightedness ? And, if not, whence 
arises the special obligation of the N&rth to perform 
this duty of evangelization ! And then — 

2d. Why should Southern men be the chosen mis- 
sionaries to the black race ? Whence arises their special 
fitness for this work? From experience? From high 


achievement or from large success? Why, Dr. Tucker 
admits the failure of the South. The Negro has been 
moulded and fashioned by Southern Christians two 
centuries and more ; and Dr. Tucker avers — I am using 
his own language — " the Negro is retrograding in mor- 
ality," (p. 2.) "I say deliberately, with a full realiza- 
tion of what the words mean, that the great mass of the 
Negroes in the South professing religion have a form 
of Christianity without its substance ; and, further, that 
they have no comprehension of what that substance 
ought to be," (p. 3.) And this after two hundred years 
of Southern training ! 

Then, next, Dr. Tucker, self- contradictory as usual, 
exhorts — "Work through the Church South;" that is, 
be it noticed, through this inept and fruitless Church. 
South, which has brought the Negro to a state of ignor- 
ance of " what the substance of Christianity ought to 
be!" But let us follow our author: "Work through 
the Church South * * * and then you will enlist 
those who thoroughly know ivhat they are about; know 
how to reach the colored people ; who love them with 
the remembrances of childhood and youth and man- 
hood, as strangers can never learn or grow to care for 
them" (p. 27.) 

Did ever any one hear such assumption ! The Church 
South " thoroughly knows what they are about !" But 
for two hundred years they have had an awkward way 
of showing it ! " They know how to reach the colored 
people !" But, alas,, in two hundred years they have 
failed to reach them ; and now Dr. Tucker himself is 


calling for a new departure ; exhorts an attempt de novo 
in order to reach and christianize them ! This is logic 
with a vengeance ! But lastly comes the claim — "We 
Southern people know the Negro better than 
YOU DO !" This is the old claim which the American 
people have heard ad nauseam. Alas, for all their 
knowledge they never knew them well enough to treat 
them as men ! They never knew them well enough to 
give them freedom ! They never knew them well enough, 
after freedom came, to stimulate culture, manhood, and 
superiority among them. 

Precisely this same claim was made by the slave- 
holders in the British West Indies. They were con- 
stantly telling the English people, " we know the Negro 
better than you do." And yet emancipation had to be 
forced upon both West Indian and American slave- 
holders ! With all their knowledge of the Negro, and 
their exuberant love of him, they both resisted to the 
utmost the unfettering of their bondmen ! 

How was it after emancipation ? The great work of 
elevating and educating the Freedmen had to be under- 
taken by philanthropists outside of the former domains 
of slavery ; by the friends of the black man in England ; 
by Northern men in the United States. I don't know 
of one single instance in the history of Negro bondage 
where slaveholders, as a class, have ever voluntarily 
emancipated the Negro, or, when raised to freedom, 
have ever voluntarily put themselves to pains to elevate 
him to manhood, intelligence, and superiority. 



I challenge Dr. Tucker to point out one such in- 

3. The main reason Dr. Tucker gives for the rejec- 
tion of Northern Missionaries is that the " Northern 
man don't know the Negro." When they (i. e. f the 
Northern Christians) propose to help the Negroes, the 
Southern (white) Christians " draw back," he says, 
" with a feeling of despair, mingled with anger, that 
God's servants should in wilful ignorance build up the 
kingdom of evil." Passing strange language this ! 
Here these Northern people, from divers denominations 
of Christians, have been sending forth missionaries to 
every quarter of the heathen world — Presbyterians, 
Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Episcopalians. 
Everywhere they have gone their work has been so gra- 
ciously attended by the gifts of God the Holy Ghost, 
they have shown such wonderful knowledge of human 
nature, and plied such marvelous skill and practicality 
that English Civilians, great Governors-General, French 
and German tourists, yea, even infidel travelers, have 
spoken of these Northern American missionaries as equal, 
and in many cases superior, to all other modern Mission- 
aries. And yet Dr. Tucker gravely tells us, " Send no 
Northern Missionaries down here !" And why, forsooth, 
this mandate? Because, without doubt, something be 
sides the grace of God, and high literary culture, and a 
knowledge of human nature is needed. And pray what 
is this special quality needed? Why, to use the gro- 
tesque language of a humorous acquaintance, "these 
Northern men — wise, learned, experienced in God's 


work, full of the Holy Ghost — lack a knowledge of the 
special science of NEGROOLOGY." Thai, Dr. Tucker 
would have us believe, is the exclusive possession of 
Southern slaveholders ! 

But how comes it to pass that Northern people " rarely 
know a Negro when they see hiin?" As Dr. Tucker 
seems oblivious of some facts in American history, let 
me briefly set before him two classes of facts : 

The first class : 

(a) Let me say that Northern people from Massa- 
chusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, &c, 
went to Africa in slave ships, stole and bought native 
Negroes from the predatory chiefs, and brought them 
in cargoes to the Northern States. And this fact, first 
of all, shows some " acquaintance" of a very sorry na- 
ture " with Negroes" on the part of Northern people. 

(b) These captured Negroes were bought by North- 
ern people by thousands ; worked on their farms and 
in their houses ; and ofttimes were put upon the auction 
block, and sold as goods and chattels. And this fact 
implies, secondly, a further acquaintance with Negroes. 

{c) And, lastly, that these Northern people were 
NOT Negro-worshippers is evidenced by the fact that 
these Negroes were kept in ignorance by their owners ; 
whipped at the whipping-post ; families were separated ; 
treated as brutes ; once, under the suspicion of insur- 
rection, were hung up in the streets of New York as 
dogs ! And then, after emancipation, for nigh fifty years 
they were cruelly treated ; excluded from cars, coaches, 
and steamboats ; frequently mobbed; and late as 1863, 


in an awful riot, their houses were sacked, their women 
whipped in the streets, and their men hung up at the 
lamp-posts ! Does not all this look as though " North- 
ern people knew Negroes when they saw them?" 
I turn to the second class of facts : 

(a) During the whole period of Northern slavery 
there was always a class of Northern men, philanthro- 
pists, who revolted at human bondage. 

(b) This class of men — Quakers, Episcopalians, and 
others — were never afraid of slaveholders, and would 
never allow themselves to be bullied by them. 

(c) At a very early period, even in Colonial times, 
they asserted themselves, and demanded the abolition 
of slavery. 

(d) Hence arose the "Abolition Societies" of 
the Middle States, who both established schools for 
Negro children and demanded the abolition of slavery. 
It was these men — the Jays, Clarksons, Kings, and 
Kents, of New York; the Boudinots, Shotwells, the 
Benezets, of New Jersey; the Rushs and Franklins, of 
Pennsylvania — who ameliorated the condition of North- 
ern Negroes, and, in some cases, destroyed their slavery. 
They looked upon these people as men, and secured 
their citizenship. They regarded them as intelligent 
beings /-and so, at last, through their efforts, schools, 
and the colleges of the North — Dartmouth, Harvard, 
Yale, Brown, Columbia, Princeton, and Pennsylvania — 
have been opened to Negroes. Nay, beyorid this, they 
counted them as brethren in Christ ; and so they have 


been received in their churches ; and in many cases 
they have been cordially welcomed to their pulpits. 

And now I trust these facts will serve to convince Dr. 
Tucker that Northern people " know a Negro when they 
see him !" And I beg to add, if he has any doubt of 
these historical facts, he can easily verify them by any 
" Common school History of the United States of 

Dr. Tucker may also learn from this that Northern 
people have had some experience in the endeavor to 
civilize and elevate the black race ; and so, when they 
come South on such a mission, they will come, not as 
novices, but as adepts. In every State North they can 
point to schools and churches, to intelligent and thrifty 
communities, nay, in some cases, to wealthy and learned 
colored men, the result of the endeavors of their fathers 
to elevate a wronged and injured people, and to redress 
a dark and shameful past. When the South has done 
as much for the Negro as the North, then it will be un- 
just as well as absurd to say that " Southern Mission- 
aries barely know a Negro when they see him !" 

For my own part, I differ toto ccelo from Dr. Tucker. 
I rejoice in the aid of all sorts of Christians in this great 
work. I am glad to have the assistance not only of 
Northern, but also, and especially, of Southern white 
missionaries. When, with their other knowledge ofthe 
Negro, they come to a recognition of him as a MAN, 
then they will make the very best missionaries to the 
Negro. This was the case of old with the Abolitionists. 


None were so true to the Negro cause as the Grimkes, 
the Birneys, the Brisbanes, and others. 

But I must say, with all candor, that the deliverance 
of the black race South into the hands exclusively, of 
Southern whites, has its dangers. I would not, for the 
life of me, say one word in least derogatory of Southern 
white men. They are just the same — no better, no 
worse — than other men. They are in no way responsi- 
ble for the acts nor the sentiments of their forefathers- 
Nay, their fathers themselves were the heirs, NOT the 
creators, of the heritage of human bondage. But 
Southern men are but men ; and Southern or any other 
men, who are the descendants of a long line of slave- 
holders, or of a feudality, or of a nobility, or of an aris- 
tocracy, are the heirs, of a spirjt of dominancy ; and 
carry in their blood all the proclivities to undue master- 
ship and control. Placed in juxtaposition with a de- 
graded and illiterate race, they will naturally, albeit un- 
consciously, be tempted to a system of feudality or 
peonage, unless the most careful safeguards* are guar- 
anteed that race. There is no such guarantee in placing 
the Negro entirely in the hands of his former masters. 
It would be to look for too much from poor human 
nature to expect of the Southern white man such large 
disinterestedness as Dr. Tucker demands. He has too 
many personal interests involved in this problem for 
him to rise to the height of such lofty virtue; and 
therefore the temptation should not be set before him. 

Nor is this mere speculation. The South has shown 
its hand. Ever since emancipation the Legislatures of 


the South have resorted to every possible expedient to 
neutralize the force of the "AMENDMENTS" which gave 
freedom to the black man. They, the aristocracy of 
the South, have left no stone unturned to narrow the 
limits of the black man s new-born liberty and his rights. 
Hence it is evidently unsafe to put the Freedman's 
future entirely in the hands of his former master. 

No, the Southern black man needs teachers of diversi- 
fied characteristics. He needs the Southern Missionary, 
for he is to the " manner born," and understands cer- 
tain phases of life, society, and character which no other 
man knows. But he needs, too — and so does the South- 
ern white man need — the Northern element. No civil- 
ization on this continent will be worth a cent which 
lacks a large infusion of the large common-sense, the 
strong practicality, the fine intelligence, the lofty cul- 
ture, the freedom-loving spirit, and the restless aspira- 
tion of the people of the North. 

Hence, it seems to me, that there must be an element 
of aberration in Dr. Tucker's constitution when he de- 
liberately ejaculates " Send no more Northern Mission- 
aries down here!" Here, when the whole civilized 
world is instinct with curiosity at the manifestation of 
the peculiar civilization of the North ; and delegates 
are coming hither from England and China, from France 
and Japan, from Germany and Madagascar, to study it, 
and carry away with them its very best elements as con- 
tributions to the higher civilization of the future; Dr. 
Tucker peremptorily demands that the Negro is to be 
entirely shut out from it. 


Dr. Tucker is mistaken. He has not the ability to 
erect another Chinese wall to keep out this (to him) 
objectionable element. What has been so graciously 
and fruitfully begun by Northern teachers, preachers, 
and philanthropists will be continued, until the Negro 
in the South is re-fashioned, enlightened, and lifted up 
to the very highest planes cf civilization, grace, and 

4. Equally mistaken is Dr. Tucker in another most 
important point. He seems to think that the work of 
educating the Negro race is to be entrusted chiefly to 
white men. " The Negroes," he says, " are not well 
enough educated, not yet on a high enough level, to 
make good use of any help you may extend to them. 
The Southern white people, who know all about the 
race, and how to deal with them, are the only ones who 
can work judiciously to lay sure foundations." 

I cannot dwell upon this topic. I only wish to say 
three or four things : 

1st. That hundreds of well-furnished and efficient 
colored teachers (about 16,000 at the present) are now 
in the field doing noble service as teachers. 

2d. That hundreds more can be obtained for the 
same service at any time. 

3d. That hundreds more besides these are preparing 
in schools, academies, and colleges for a life service as 
teachers among their race ; and there is no likelihood of 
a lack of supply of colored teachers in the farthest future. 

4th. That an INDIGENOUS AGENCY in the evangeliza- 
tion of a people is a UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE. Negroes 


are no exception to this principle ; and the man or the 
organization which attempts the training of the black 
race by ignoring this principle may surely expect these 
two inevitable results : 

(a) They will doubtless get a certain following of 
people; but their gatherings, save in the rarest excep- 
tional cases, will be nothing more nor less than useless 
"snobberies," to be perpetually petted or paid for 
their allegiance, and everlastingly deficient in strength 
and manliness. And, 

(&) They will find the masses about them will re- 
sist all their inducements, and, under the racial impulse, 
will go off to any standard lifted up by a man of their 
own blood. 

The true leaders of a race are men of that race ; and 
any attempt to carry on missions opposed to this prin- 
ciple is sure to meet disastrous failure ! 

The Negro race is a living, not a dead race — alive in 
the several respects of industry, acquisitiveness, educa- 
tion, and religious aspiration. Not entirely divorced 
as yet from the sore diseases of the Egypt from which 
they have only recently been delivered, they are, never- 
theless, making mighty efforts for cure and healing by 
both the appliances of education and the Blood of the 
Lamb. It is a race instinct in every section with HOPE 
and aspiration. All the springs of action are moving 
in it. Its leaders, everywhere, conscious, indeed, of 
deep, radical defects within, and most formidable hin- 
drances without, have, notwithstanding, but few mis- 


givings as to the future. They have very great confi- 
dence, first of all, in certain vital qualities inherent in 
the race ! They trust those universal and unfailing 
tendencies of TRUTH, JUSTICE, and EQUITY, which have 
ever attended their history on this continent ! They 
look with no uncertainty to the large and loving 
BROTHERHOOD of countless Christians, of every name, 
in this land, whose hearts are alive with pity for the 
past sorrows of the Negro ; whose prayers go up as 
clouds of incense for his restoration ; and whose purses 
pour forth annually tens of thousands for his well-being 
and salvation ! And they repose in quiet confidence 
upon the marvelous mercy and loving-kindness of a 
divine DELIVERER and Saviour, who has wrought out 
a most gracious and saving providence for them ! 

These succors and assistances cannot fail ! They 
will surely serve to realize the qualities and justify the 
character implied in the epithet of Homer, when he 
speaks of 

"Ethiopia's Blameless Race." 

1 The Responsibility of the 
First Fathers of a Country for its 
Future Life and Character. 

Delivered before the Young Men of Monrovia, Liberia, West 
Africa, December ist, 1863. 


Young Gentlemen of Monrovia: — You have 
asked me to aid you to-day in the celebration of an 
event which is interesting to the whole country, but 
which has become sacred, in an especial manner, to the 
people of this city; for it is commemorative of an in- 
cident in the history of this young nation, which helped, 
through God's mercy, to secure a permanent foothold 
to the first emigrants to this coast ; and at the same 
time to convince the native mind, through all this re- 
gion, that there was a presence and a power here such 
as never before had been known by them or their 

The incident, glowing and exciting as it is, exceeds 
by far my power of description; but deserves, never- 
theless, a passing notice. 

On the 1st December, 1822, a few brave colonists 
were beset by hosts of infuriate savages, intent upon 
the complete destruction of the weak, sickly, and en- 
feebled settlement which was then encamped upon 
Fort Hill. The attack was again and again repulsed ; 
but relying upon exhaustless numbers, and confident of 


the failing strength of the settlers, the enemy repeatedly- 
returned to the deadly strife. At last a crisis arrives. 
The native foe imagines that the energy of the colonists 
is waning, and their fire relaxing. Once more they 
come with savage, monstrous might, to the imminent 
deadly breach. Once more the feeble, faithful settlers 
strive to meet the desolating waye. But in vain, alas, 
in vain ! this unequal contest with a multitudinous foe. 
Your gallant predecessors, few and feeble, had to give 
way before the mighty host of their enemies ; and now 
everything seems lost; confusion and dismay seize 
upon the enfeebled band ; the enemy press forward and 
capture the cannon of the settlers ; and ruin and de- 
struction seem certain and inevitable. 

Just then occurred one of those events, as beautiful and 
poetic as it was decisive, which secured the fortune of the 
day. A female colonist, by the name of Mary Newport, 
seeing the perilous position of the settlers, snatches a 
match and applies it to a cannon now held by the enemy, 
and scatters death among hundreds of the native foe. 

That single touch of woman saved the colony ! The 
wave of confusion turns back upon the enemy ; courage 
fires the bosom of the gallant colonists. Once more 
they pour united fire into the scattered ranks of their 
adversaries; they stagger in their course; they turn in 
despair from their aroused and valiant victims ; they 
flee, broken and defeated, into the wilderness ; and from 
that day supremacy and might have ever crowned the 
hill of Monrovia and sent their influence abroad along 
the whole line of our coast. 



I apprehend, however, that -you care but little about 
the mere strife of that day ; but that its relation to the 
permanent occupancy of the land, and the ultimate 
growth from it, of a civilized nationality, has excited 
your interest and made this a holiday. Indeed, what 
are the sabre's thrust, the well-aimed shot, the gashing 
wound, and the ghastly exit, disassociated from ideas ? 
What, even, the great fields of battle — Bannockburh, 
Austerlitz, Waterloo, with their grim carnage and mul- 
titudinous corpses, divorced from human ends and 
moral policies ! Worse than the ghastly sacrifices of 
Dahomy ! The very carnival of devils ! But as soon 
as you join any human good — whether the life of na- 
tions, the rescue of perilled freedom, the permanence 
of national being — to any such scenes, immediately art, 
eloquence, and poesy, offer their finest powers for lustra- 
tion and historical remembrance. 

You keep up this celebration, then, because it is 
strongly related, as an event, to the nation's existence. 
You have made it a holiday, since it tells powerfully 
upon the life of the Republic, reminds us of important 
events, and suggests a commanding principle. 

But what is the principle suggested for our consider- 
ation? It may be easily reached, I think, by one or 
two simple questions. Why did those brave men fight 
like heroes, in December, 1822? Why did they peril 
wife and children, personal safety, and their precious 
lives? Merely because they liked to fight? For the 
mere purpose of conquest? For the sake of their petty 
property and their slender gains? By no manner of 


means ! They had come out to this coast with an ob- 
ject before them, clear, distant, and well-defined. It 
was no less than to set up a civilized nationality here, 
amid the relics of barbarism, and to extend the bless- 
ings of Christian enlightenment among these rude 
people, their, and our own kinsmen. They knew that 
a tremendous responsibility rested upon them to hold 
their place ; not to let the feeble light they had lit go 
out in darkness ; to stand, and if necessary, to die ! 
Under this conviction they fought. With this weight 
of responsibility upon them, they contended. Looking 
forward by faith to that great nation yet, we trust in 
God, to be realized in our government, which they 
came to establish, and by which they hoped to bless 
even the children of their enemies ; they felt that a 
great obligation rested upon them to resist and over- 
come their blind adversaries ; to prove faithful to the 
trust reposing upon them ; and to act as worthy trustees 
of distant generations and of future times. 

In the light of their example and their action, I feel 
myself drawn to but one theme as appropriate to this 

You will not think this subject mistimed, if you will 
but remember that forty years in the life of a nation, 
leave it still in its infancy. You will not regard it as 
unsuitable, if you will but consider that the foundation 
work is still going on here; that no peculiar class in 
the nation can as yet claim to have accomplished this 



great end ; and that we of the present time, and our 
little children too, and even those who may come out 
here, for a long time, in many an emigration, are even 
yet founders of this Republic. It is no flattering re- 
flection, but, nevertheless, a true one, namely, that as 
yet we cannot call our governmental movement here 
anything but an EXPERIMENT ; however profound may 
be your conviction that it will prove a successful one. 
The work of founding a nation, of laying deep and broad 
its solid foundations ; of causing them to settle in their 
beds firmly, thoroughly, compactly ; of rearing there- 
on a strong, well-proportioned, well-knit superstructure ; 
is not the work of a day, a year, or a generation. It is 
not a work which is completed when you have written 
out a constitution and appointed executive agents, and 
spread abroad to the breezes the flag which symbolizes 
its existence, and gathered a people around it who 
look to it with pride, and swear most solemnly for its 
defence. These, however precious, are but the simpler 
elements of real national existence. They are only the 
outward visible signs, the external framework, which 
after all may prove but empty shadows. In addition 
to these, you have yet to secure and to join to them, 
by indissoluble bonds, a strong and manly spirit, a senti- 
ment of bravery and endurance, a disposition for strong 
self-restraint and prompt obedience; a yearning for 
culture and enlightenment, for manners and refinement, 
for beauty and for art ; the sober feeling of obligation 
for gifts and blessings ; and a deep sense of responsi- 
bility to man and to God. It is this marriage of noble 


entiment to outward forms and symbols, which gives 
right promise of a nation. But all this is a matter of 
rowth. Never, in the history of the world, has it been 
ecured to any people, until after generations of toil, 
nd pain, and self-sacrifice, and the agonies which come 
d the highest souls. We have placed our feet in the 
ard, the toilsome, the blood-stained track which we 
rust will bring to our descendants the grand realities, 
nd the noble fruits we desire in a nation. But all this 

future thing which we, of this day, are to anticipate 
nd provide for. Most fortunate shall I be this day, if 

can succeed in drawing off the attention of my fellow- 
itizens from themselves and selfish interests, to think 
f grand futurity and our solemn relations to it. 

I. First of all we will notice the question — "What is 
he future life and character that you would fain secure 
his country? How would you characterize the ideal 
ational existence which you crave for your posterity? 
Vhat is the status, the substance, the features of the 
ommonwealth which, say a hundred years hence, you 
/ould have as the result and outgrowth of your present 
ims, activities, and aspirations?" 

There is no insuperable difficulty in forming a right 
udgment in this matter; indeed, there is no middle 
ourse; there is but one alternative. If we would 
ealize the noblest desires of men for our descendants 
n this nation, then we must build up here, either a 
orm of despotism, or else we must perpetuate a free 
tnd rational government. 


I present the subject in this governmental aspect, 
not because I think that government can do everything 
for man ; nor because civil government, in its influences 
covers the whole of individual life ; nor because it can 
reach to, and nourish the higher elements of our per- 
sonal being. I make this reference, because history 
and experience teach me that man's opportunities for 
personal freedom, for intellectual advancement, for so- 
cial comfort, for domestic bliss, and for religious growth, 
depend very measurably upon his civil status. I speak 
of government, because I find that an ennobled man- 
hood and the masculine virtues are generally the fruits 
of distinct national systems. I present my subject in 
this special form from the fact that the spirit of a people 
and their form of government are mostly reciprocal ; 
and that, therefore, for the higher kind of human char- 
acter, you are forced to seek an analogy of rule and 
system as its parent. 

I maintain, therefore, that the future of this country 
will be determined by the governmental principles and 
system which we may purposely found in our own day. 
I speak of purpose, because if we are indifferent, we 
know not what growth may spring up from the weeds 
of neglect and carelessness. Moreover, in all things 
that are to last, and stand, and flourish from their firm 
rootings, the principle of their endurance is found to 
proceed from wise forecast and deliberate preparation. 
In governmental matters, however, nothing must be 
left to fortuitous circumstance, to idle chance. The 
citizens of a country who would fain frame a compact 


and enduring political fabric for their descendants, 
must give themselves to restraint and study ; to cautious 
prudence, and the wisdom which comes from historical 
experience ; and they must add thereto great public 
virtue joined to constant watchfulness. Lord Bacon 
forcibly observes, " No man can, by care-taking, as the 
Scripture saith, add a cubit to his stature in this little 
model of a man's body ; but in the great frame of king- 
doms and commonwealths, it is in the power of princes 
or estates to add amplitude and greatness to their king- 
doms. For by introducing such ordinances, constitu- 
tions, and customs as are wise, they may sow greatness 
to their posterity and successors." 

I say, then, that the destinies of posterity are to be 
very considerably determined by the principles and the 
policies which shape and govern our system in this day 
and generation in which we live. 

I know that there are modifications of both the 
systems which I have referred to. The Kingdom of 
Dahomy is a different government from that of im- 
perial France; but in one respect they assimilate; for 
they are both despotisms. So, on the other hand, the 
Republic of the United States varies, in divers respects, 
from the Monarchy of England ; but still, in the great 
central, ennobling feature which characterizes both, 
there is a spirit of oneness ; for they are both free gov- 
ernments, with free institutions. And thus you may 
easily sec that there inheres in these respective systems 
<>:ic en-eat, seminal principle which separates them frcm 
each other at the widest distance. All the art, the 


refinement, the magnificence of Paris, fail to realize that 
ideal of human government which is the aspiration of 
every free soul, and which is an essential element in the 
growth of free and manly character. On the other 
hand the absence of* Versailles and the Tuilleries, and 
the elegance and fashion of St. Germains, from the pre- 
cincts of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, neither 
lessen nor neutralize the characteristic freedom of the 
political system of America. 

Now one or the other of these systems, modified in- 
deed by circumstance, we must perforce create and de- 
velop for our children. But we are not creatures of 
necessity. In a certain sense we are all creators. The 
future of our families and of our country is the out- 
growth of the principles we propound, of the acts we 
perform, and of the policies we settle upon. It is in- 
deed a necessity that the future of our country shall ex- 
hibit one or the other of the systems I have just out- 
lined ; for the range of governmental systems is nar- 
row ; but the necessity lies in the fact that according to 
the constitution of things, no other political systems than 
these can exist. You must have either a free system 
or a repressive one. 

But which you will have is a matter of election. The 
providence of God does indeed ofttimes thwart the best 
calculations of men ; but we may generally act upon the 
broad principle that results answer to their causes ; that 
fruits correspond to the seeds from whence they spring. 
Looking forward, then, with concern and responsi- 
bility to those who are to succeed us ; anxious for their 


security, their growth and greatness, I put the question 
to you to-day in behalf of posterity : — 

Will you have here, on the one hand, a govern- 
mental system which merely contemplates temporal 
interests, and whose master aim is the control, regulation 
and subjection of men? 

Will you have here a system which shall settle itself 
in mere will, and which will eschew the control of le- 
gality and the force of law? 

Will you have a system which will exaggerate the 
importance of rulers, and disregard the interests of the 
people, and use them for the advantage of the authori- 

Will you have a system which shall legislate for self- 
ish-class interests ; which will perpetually sacrifice the 
many to the few, and turn the masses into subjects 
instead of citizens? 

Will you have a system which shall create privileged 
classes, and carry on'its operations by force and despot- 
ism ? 

Will you have a system which will crush down the 
lowly and the poor, and preserve its suffrages for the 
powerful and the great? 

Is it such a government, partial, one-sided, exclu- 
sive, and tyrannous, which you wish to upbuild in this 
country, and hand down to posterity? 

Let me now present to your consideration the alterna- 
tive system which it is in the power of this generation to 
choose, root in the soil, and to hand over as a blessing 
to future times. 



I ask, therefore, will you inaugurate in this country a 
free, ennobling, enlightening governmental system; a 
system capable of elevating the degraded, and of civil- 
izing the heathen ; a system which will enlarge the souls 
of men, give them manhood and superiority, and, with- 
out going beyond the proper sphere of government, 
serve as an auxiliary agent to evangelize the continent, 
and to raise the souls of men to heaven. 

And in order that I may make my own meaning 
somewhat distinct upon this point, I will venture to set 
forth, just here, what I mean by a free system ; more 
especially in contrast with what I regard as a dominat- 
ing and repressive one. 

I call that a free system which is one of law and not 
of caprice ; which is based upon downright and thor- 
ough justice ; which eschews partial monopolies, and 
seeks the promotion of the common weal. 

I call that a free system which guarantees legal 
equality to all ; which respects humanity in its humblest 
forms ; which opens to obscurest persons an open path- 
way to preferment ; which permits neither the rich nor 
the .powerful to stretch themselves beyond law. 

I call that a free system which proclaims the duties 
of citizens as well as their rights ; which confers its 
franchises as trusts as well as prerogatives; which 
distinguishes calm Republicanism from wild and lawless 

I call that a free system which guarantees -universal 
personal freedom ; which allows no shackles to fetter 
the mind; which concedes free play to thought and 


opinion; which gives the fullest liberty to investiga- 
tions, to speech, and to the press. 

I call that a free system which would fain stimulate 
industry; which seeks to ply the arms of honest labor; 
which strives to move the springs of action in a com- 
munity ; which starts men in the race for improvement, 
for enterprise, for wealth. 

I call that a free system which recognizes the second- 
ary as well as the primary ends of government ; which 
not only subserves men's temporal interest, but also 
seeks their moral elevation, and aims to strengthen their 

I call that a free system which makes men brave and 
honorable, self-forgetful and patriotic; which trains 
them to public service and self-sacrifice; and which 
teaches them, when necessary, to die for their country. 

I call that a free system which inspires respect for 
authority ; which reverences law in the person of rulers; 
which recognizes the authority of God in governors 
and magistrates. 

I call that a free system which respects the intellect 
of a nation ; which aims at the diffusion of knowledge ; 
which provides for the culture and training of its pop- 
ulation; and strives to make education the common 
boon of the whole people. 

In fine, I call that a free system which acknowledges 
government an ordinance of God; which holds all 
human law as subject to the higher law of heaven; 
which regards a nation as a grand instrument for human 
blessedness and the divine honor. 


You see, then, what I regard as a free national 
system. You will also judge for yourselves which is 
preferable, such a system, or, one that is narrow, 
arbitrary and repressive — for the great work before us 
in this country, and which we would desire to hand 
down to our children's children. 

So far as theory is concerned, yon have already 
elected to take a free, generous, and expansive system, 
as your system ; such an one as, in my opinion, is in 
harmony with the evident mission God has given us for 
this continent; a system fitted to the elevation of the 
aborigines of the land, and adapted to the Reformed 
Religion which we have brought to this continent. 
Such an one I believe you desire to hand down as a 
legacy to your children, and to make the model of 
numerous other civilized nations all over the continent, 
as their brutish and degraded systems vanish before the 
light of intelligence and the cross of Christ ! 

II. But if you would fain realize such a system for 
the future, you must now plant the seed which may 
hereafter produce the proper and desired fruit, and that 
is by the recognition in this, our own day, of that organic 
principle of being which binds the present to the future, 
under a sense of duty and responsibility. And this, to a 
very great extent, we can do. God has so made man 
that the future is somewhat in our power. According 
to the organization of our being we are unable to con- 
fine ourselves to the mere brief period of life allotted 
us in this world. No man can thus make his life a 
disconnected, isolated unit. For human life is not like 


a pillar rooted and columnar; not like a mountain, 
fixed and rigid; but human life is a stream, which 
springs up, and flows over at his fountain head ; and 
likewise flows onward forever towards the ocean ! So 
we, too, go onward in vital power, creative, influence, 
and plastic energy, generations after our bodies have 
been laid in the tomb. Man is a creature so formed 
and fashioned that besides his grasp upon the present, 
he has a power of historic life, which sends forward his 
influence far beyond his own times, and makes him an 
agent of might and even of responsibility in other 

" E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries. 
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires." 

Indeed we are vital in the external facts of our being, 
as well as in its central points. We are immortal in 
look, and glance, and movement, and word, as well as 
in the living soul ; they too give forth power and 
energy, not only in the days of our life, but also in 
those after times which sweep swiftly beyond our 

There is an organic life of the individual which per- 
petuates his power and influence beyond his lifetime, 
and in this resides his responsibility to posterity. This 
principle is a law of our being. We come into the 
world members of the State and of the family, in- 
dependent of choice and will. Without any lessening 
of our personality, or loss of individual will, still we 
perpetuate our ancestors in their traits and peculiarities. 
As their offspring, we bring down to our own day their 



features, talents, manners, and in a measure, their 
characters. Our fathers, for long generations, live in 
our life and blood. To a considerable extent thev 
made us what we are ; and we move among men the 
residuum of our progenitors. Men look at us ; they 
hear our words, they see our lives, and they behold 
therein the plastic power and processes of all those 
our sires who, through long generations, have been 
sending down their blood and character into the de- 
pository of our personal being. And the stream goes 
onward; both that of organic life and of deep responsi- 
bility which inheres in it. We, too, as the generations 
that are past, shall lie down in our graves; but we shall 
not die. Other men who walk the avenues of life, shall 
see us in our children, and them again and us, in theirs. 
They will see our persons reproduced, more or less, in 
the likeness of our offspring ; but they will see also our 
principles, our morals, and our wills ; see the springs 
of action which have moved us, the master principles 
which have stirred our souls, the living truths or dam- 
ning lies, that brought us down to the level of brute 
beasts, or raised us to high and noble endeavor. 

Most unfortunate for man, he acts from selfish 
motives ; he thinks but little of the future — his soul is 
absorbed in the present. Men live for themselves ; 
they forget their fathers, they are careless and indiffer- 
ent about their children. But all nature, all history, all 
experience protest against this. We recognize the 
great truth before us in individuals ; for we see the de- 
scent of virtues, of noble traits, of personal bravery in 


families, from generation to generation. So we see the 
transmission of gross vices, of drunkenness and lust, of 
diseases, of consumption and scrofula; and in these 
facts we discover not only the law we referred to, but 
we recognize also the principle of responsibility which 
accompanies it. 

There is a noticeable passage in Motley's " Rise of 
the Dutch Republic," which somewhat illustrates this 
subject. Speaking of the early inhabitants of the 
Netherlands, he says : "The Gaul was so fond of dress 
that the Romans divided his race respectively into long- 
haired, breeched and gowned Gaul." [Gallia comita, 
braccata, togata.] " He was fond of brilliant and 
parti-colored clothes, a taste which survives in the High- 
lander's costume. He covered his neck and arms with 
golden chains." * 

In this description of the Gaul, we see the image of 
the Frenchman. Then he was rude, simple, unlettered ; 
now he is civilized, refined, and accomplished; but 
under both conditions we may perceive the same 
fondness for the elegant and ornate, which makes Paris 
the seat of modern civilization. And we perceive also 
that law of transmission, by which a people pass on and 
hand over to posterity their chief qualities and most 
characteristic traits. If you visit the manufacturing 
towns or the agricultural districts of England, or sit 
down and read the account of the battle of Waterloo, 
you will see the same untiring industry, the same un- 

* " Rise of the Dutch Republic." By J. L. Motley, LL. D., D. C. L., vol. i. 
Historical introduction. 


yielding tenacity, which characterized the Anglo-Saxon 
amid the hardy toil of the Middle Ages, or at the battle 
of Hastings. 

Thus, by a fixed law of nature, the mind, the temper, 
the character, the main peculiarities of a people, are 
propagated in the blood, brain, bones, and sinews of 
that people ; so that remote progenitors, show as truly 
as in a mirror, the stock from whence they came. But 


I would fain have you notice how will, purpose, and 
obligation may be, are connected with this fact. God 
in His providence, and by the laws of His economy, 
holds up before us the great principle involved in this 
discussion ; and shows us therein how we may live in, 
as well as for, the future. We ourselves, under God, 
may say what our children shall be. We, too, can be 
creators of great posterity. We have no need, as we 
have no right to say, as I have heard it said by parents 
here — " 7" have had no advantages : I had to work my 
way up into life without assistance. I had no one to 
help me on in life, and my children must do as I did. I 
had to take care of myself, and they must take care of 
themselves. But that structural organization of our 
being to which I referred, as well as the precepts of scrip- 
ture, tells us — " The children ought not to lay up for the 
parents, but the parents for the children." * And it 
says with as much distinctness that preceding genera- 
tions must use forecast for the well-being of successors. 
■ Now in all this we see the principle by which one 
generation is, of necessity, the framer and shaper of 

*2 Cor., xii, 14. 



both the character and the destiny of another; that 
principle which carries down a common character in a 
people, and transmits their inherent traits and tempers. 

We see also the great responsibility which is allied 
to this principle. For as we perceive that the life and 
spirit of one generation flow out into another ; that as 
the character of a people is a continuous and integral 
quality, so we may learn the duty of care and pains- 
taking in every people, that they send down a pure 
blood, sound brains, and a right spirit to their descend- 
ants. Indeed, every age is under obligation so to use 
the materials, both of talents and opportunities, trans- 
mitted to it, that it may bless the age that follows. 
For every age is, if I may make so exaggerated a per- 
sonification, a steward, entrusted with certain respon- 
sible powers and prerogatives, which it is bound to use 
for the good of the generations that come after it. 

How solemn, then, is this generative power of souls 
and societies ! How weighty the obligations which 
grow out of it ! How awful the responsibilities which 
it imposes ! 

The living age holds in its power the character of 
that which is unborn. To it is committed the awful 
trust of transmitting those proper influences, and that 
normal mode of being, which shall conserve society in 
distant times. Woe therefore to the people whose 
infancy is base and unprincipled ! Woe to the people 
who plant dishonor and profligacy right beside the 
foundation stones of their political system! Woe to 
the nation whose early days are characterized by guile 


and mad ambition ! Woe to the people who commence 
their political life with the infused virus of misrule, 
irreverence, and disobedience ! 

The fathers, in the first generation, may quietly reap 
their fields over the burning volcanoes visible to sight, 
but in the third generation they may burst forth upon 
their children with wide-spread destruction and utter 
ruin ! 

But there is one feature of this subject to which I ask 
your special attention. We are now in the process of 
national formation. Do not let your pride turn you 
with dislike from this somewhat humbling assertion, 
nor blind you to its rigid truthfulness ; for indeed we 
are not yet formed ; we are as yet only forming. Ours 
is at present a state of feeble infancy ; we have not yet 
reached vigorous manhood, nay, not even elastic youth. 
I wish to say nothing discouraging, and surely I am not 
discouraged in the least myself; but I wish most earn- 
estly to remind you that the day is too early for us to 
sit down confident and assured. No nation has a right 
to be assured and confident until time and experience 
have proven that it can withstand the storms of faction 
within, and the assaults of powerful nations from 
without ; that it can effectually resist the workings of 
corruption ; that it can quietly outride the violence of 
party spirit; that it can rapidly pass from a state of 
weakness and poverty to large productive capacity; 
that it can originate sterling moral character and great 
hardihood of soul.; that it can keep down enervating 


vice and shameless profligacy ; and I tell you here 
to-day we have not yet reached such a state ! 

We stand, therefore, at the very start of national life. 
And let me say here that there is something solemn, 
awful, and responsible in the first beginnings of all 
great fundamental institutions. It seems to me most 
natural that under such circumstances, men would 
pause and think somewhat on this wise: — "Here, in 
God's providence we have arrived at an important point. 
Here springs up a fresh, new stream of human influence. 
On this spot grows up a new form of might and power 
among men. Now, from this time, begins the forming 
and the training of families, the uprearing and the reg- 
ulation of communities, and the framing and the fashion- 
ing of minds and characters. As is the infancy of our 
system, so measurably will be its youth, its maturity, 
its old age. The future lives in, and depends upon us. 
We feel responsibility for the ages to come. By God's 
help we will strive so to shape and fashion things : to 
lay such firm foundations ; to build upon such solid 
principles, that blessedness and strength shall flow in 
fullness to posterity forever ! " 

Such considerations are demanded of all those who 
venture upon the world of souls any new institution 
which is to effect and influence the most vital interests 
of human beings. For a new organization, when 
brought into being, is governed by the law of its birth ; 
and by that law it is to do good or to exert mischief. 
That law gives it a fixedness of being and of influence 
which continues through long generations of men and 



their children. All things, I know, as they grow and 
are developed, are constantly modified ; but these modi- 
fications are chiefly those of form and appearance — the 
partial change of leaf and bud and flower — but the root 
remains intact. 

" The child is father of the man." 

The infant of the nation, of the church, of the school, 
of the family, is, as it were, by a necessary law, the 
shaper and controller of their respective aftergrowths to 
their maturest developments. The germ infolds stem, 
branches, bud, blossom, and expected fruit : and so the 
infant state, the future. 

But the special thing to be noticed here, that which 
is momentous in the fresh beginnings of every organic 
system, is this, namely, that the primal organization is 
the seed which is to be produced over and over again, 

"To the last syllable of recorded time," 

in the outgrowth which is generated by it. This is the 
law of life in all things, as well as the law of plants, and 
fruits, and trees ; that the germinal influence is perma- 
nent and lasting. 

This principle, moreover, is awfully comprehensive. 
It takes in minutia that are hardly visible; it bears 
along, in a mighty stream, the passions, vices, or virtues ; 
the habits and customs ; the social character, the 
manners, and convivialities ; the marriage system ; the 
dignity or degradation of woman ; the obedience or 
presumption of children ; the drinking habits, the licen- 
tiousness or purity ; the ignorance or enlightenment ; 


yea, all the traits and characteristics of a people, in 
their infant state, are carried on and transmitted to 
their children, as their inheritance, whether for good or 
for evil ; all these by a singular but certain law become 
interfused with the organic life of the system, and go 
down with it with influence to other generations of men 
and women, and little babes, acting upon their life and 
controlling their destiny ! 

III. I turn now, in the last place, to a brief consider- 
ation of some of the teachings which proceed from the 
train of remark I have brought before you. 

You will bear in mind, that when I commenced I 
referred to government, chiefly because the political 
condition of a country expresses, more fully than any- 
thing else, the spirit, temper, • and character of that 
people. You will connect with this, the remembrance 
of the great objects which have brought us to this 
coast. For I take it, that when the Almighty takes up 
a people in any of the great centres of civilization, and 
transplants them into a region of ignorance and be- 
nightedness, he gives such a people a commission, and 
imposes an obligation upon them, to undertake the 
elevation of the degraded people who become subject 
to them, in all the respects of their mental and moral 
nature. God sends them there on that mission. A 
mandate comes to them from heaven to take charge of 
the lowly and benighted, and to lift them up to man- 
hood, to freedom, and moral superiority. I do not say 
they are not to consider collateral purposes, nor to 
devote themselves to personal advantage ; but I beg to 


insist- upon it that the providence of God points out 
to them a most certain mission of enlightenment and 
elevation, which such a people can only neglect at 
their peril. And this 'is the position in which we stand 
before GOD, in our place, in this new country. It is 
not the miserable thing as to who can get this place, or 
secure the other ; not the contemptible ambition, who 
we can crush down in order for oneself to get up ; not 
the pitiful thing as to who can sport a pair of epau- 
lettes ; or who can boast a title ; but the end for which 
we have been planted in this spot, on these shores, is 
the promotion of grand civilization and human blessed- 
ness ! And hence comes the solemn consideration — 
Have we the right breed here ? Have we such strong 
character, that we can send forth a stream of influence 
so deep, so strong, so unfailing, that it may flow on for 
ever, with blessed and vitalizing power? — 

Hence I am a deal more concerned about that tem- 
per, character, and spirit into which the people of this 
country may be educated, than about anything else. I 
am more anxious about the development of certain 
qualities in our population than about the rise or fall 
of parties. I am more eager for the planting of proper 
principles, and the bringing out of just sentiments, 
than I am about the movements of caucuses, or even 
the doings of a legislative session. 

For you can easily see that if the people of this 
country are virtuous and brave; if they have a high 
spirit and sterling honor; then, the character of the 
people will react upon their institutions, modify their 


imperfections, and supply the correctives to all things 
unseemly, or wrong. The CHARACTER of a people, 
then, is the main consideration with us ; and we may 
dismiss from our minds all thought concerning mere 
governmental framework, and political, policy, and bend 
our whole thought to the point namely — "How are we 
to train ourselves, as a people, to the great, perpetual 
work of God and man on this continent?" 

Three distinct qualities seem to me most essential to 
this end : — 

The first of these is SELF-RESTRAINT — an element 
of character which more distinctly than many others 
proves manhood, and evidences real internal strength. 

No free system can live without this principle per- 
vading the national mind and governing personal 
character. For a free system depends upon public 
sentiment ; upon the people's interest and acquiescence 
in Government; in their prompt and punctual rever- 
ence of majestic law. Under a free system no man 
should test law to see how much it can bear; to put a 
constitution on trial to learn whether it could stand a 
rent. Indeed, if men are not to be governed as slaves ; 
if a people are to live free from an imperious, prying 
police following them at every step, and peering into 
every window ; if self -government is to be a very con- 
siderable item in a national system, then that people 
must need cultivate a spirit of generous forbearance, 
and learn the lesson of self-restraint. If they cannot 
do this, then they must be trammelled, chained, hand- 
cuffed. And they must perforce transmit such a system 



to their children; for the children will be like their 
sires ; for "when the fathers eat sour grapes, their chil- 
dren's teeth are generally set on edge." * As well turn 
a hungry tiger loose in your streets, as give constitu- 
tional freedom to a people who cannot use their 
tongqes aright ; who abuse the privilege of a free press ; 
whose sympathies run counter to established law ! 

This spirit of self-restraint must be taught in all the 
grades of life, so that it may come to form an integral 
element of the national mind, and an universal, sponta- 
neous sentiment. In the family, in the school, in the 
State, children, young men, maidens, the mature, the 
aged should be taught, nay, should teach themselves to 
fear their rulers, to respect the law, to bow before au- 

I am not speaking of mere political restraint ; I am 
speaking of the principle as a habit' of mind, as a 
necessary and indispensable element in a free system. 
And, as I address especially young men to-day, I may 
call their particular attention to this point. 

You know that there are several evils especially inci- 
dent to new society. In all colonies and new countries, 
the bonds of olden manners and ancient customs are 
wanting; population is sparse, and therefore manhood 
is premature; hence, laxity prevails, freedom is ex- 
aggerated, control is loose and relaxed, and the young, 
for the most part, desire to do as they please. Thus 
will and inclination prove more powerful than convic- 
tion and duty, and hence a disposition is gendered to 

* Ezekiel xviii, 2. 


turn liberty into license, and to make desire the crite- 
rion of law. 

Inasmuch, then, as we are in the very circumstances 
which naturally beget such results, I would fain exhort 
young men to practice self-government; to accustom 
themselves to self-restraint. Do not use all the liberty 
■you have. Fall back a little from the margin of your 
freedom. Do not be too hasty to be self- asserting men. 
Avoid the false and fatal theory that all the beauty and 
the strength of life are centred in the period of man- 
hood. There are precious and priceless prerogatives 
which belong alone to youth ; which are unattainable 
in any other period of life, and which, if lost, leave the 
system ill-formed, crude, and distorted. Remember, 
too, that a hasty rush into manhood lessens the vital 
powers of being, and detracts from the strength and 
energy which attend a gradual but natural develop- 

Those creatures — bugs, ants, and vermin — that are 
born in the morning, and become mature at noon, are 
aged in the evening, and die before the morrow ! 

The young men here who would fain to do their part 
in building up society, and giving solid and enduring 
strength to their country, must distrust their own abili- 
ties ; must cultivate modesty and diffidence ; must learn 
betimes to put the rein upon themselves in every re- 
spect of their nature; must be willing patiently to post- 
pone the period of responsibility; must husband their 
powers, in the early period of life, to give strength to 
maturity and to preserve vigor for old age. 


Some of you are aiming to be scholars ; and I am 
sure you will pardon me for what I rarely do on any 
public occasion, that is to remind you of the words of 
a well-known classic: — 

"Qui studet optatam cursu contingere metam 
Multa tulis fecitque puer; sudavit et alsit 
Abstinuit venere et vino." * 

Regulating your lives thus by moderation and dis- 
cipline, you will gain both inward strength and lasting 
power. Your influence will be mighty upon the gen- 
eration which will follow you, increasing strong souls 
and well-regulated characters. And they again shall 
carry down to their posterity the high tone and the 
large sentiment which first sprung up in our day and 
time in you. And so at length we shall stand forth 
before the world a nation of true and noble men ; grave, 
sober, and earnest ; high in aim, and lofty in endeavor ; 
or as Akenside expresses it, in words which will well 
bear frequent repetition: — 

"Zealous, yet modest; 
Innocent, though free; serene amidst alarms. 
Inflexible in faith : invincible in arms ! " 

But I go on to remark, that important as is the prin- 
ciple of self-restraint to well-developed national charac- 
ter, and the perpetuity of a high-toned national life, 
that of honor is of equal value. I am not speaking 
now of mere honesty. Important and priceless as it 
is, its root, nevertheless, is not so very deep ; civiliza- 
tion will secure it; trade will secure it; the rules of 

•Horace, " An? Poetica," 


commerce will secure it; mere self-regarding policy- 
will secure it. When I speak of honor, I speak of that 
delicate and noble sentiment which comes from a more 
internal, more elevated source, and which gives a 
higher glory to our life and being. A mere honest 
man may be a rude and vulgar fellow ; of course such 
an one will not cheat and defraud, but he might despise 
the poor and tread upon the weak and helpless: He 
would not steal, but he might insult poor widows and 
outrage the feelings of inferiors. He would not de- 
fraud and peculate, but he might lie ; he might deceive 
a woman; he might be ruffianly in conduct; with 
broadcloth upon his back and patent leather upon his 
feet he might have swinish manners. All this you see 
is quite compatible with mere honesty. But when men 
are thrown together in society they need something 
finer and more elevating to regulate their intercourse 
and to govern their lives, and we have this in the rules 
and requirements of honor, a sentiment which rises 
higher than the control of law ; which has a nobler 
force than the fear of the magistrate, which throws men 
back upon inward self-respect and quiet internal dignity. 
It is that generous sentiment which makes a man's 
word his bond ; which renders the bravest men modest 
and unassuming; which makes a mean act as impossi- 
ble to a true man as theft or murder; which makes 
politeness as much a duty to a beggar as to a prince; 
which makes chastity as precious to men as to women ; 
which makes lying a barrier to good society and polite 
circles ; which causes trust, fidelity, and confidence to 


be regarded as solemn as religion; which requires 
deference to the poor and lowly, as well as to the rich 
and affluent; in .fine, which mingles truth, and gentle- 
ness, and forebearance, and self-sacrifice, and humility 
with the strongest elements of character ; makes them 
compatible with all human relations ; and instead of 
holding them as holiday qualities bares them freely and 
quietly to the daily light and common air, in the hut 
and the hamlet, as well as in grand cities and noble 
palaces. , ^ 

Lastly, I join to self-restraint and honor the need of 
VIRTUE. Without this principle you cannot build up 
here a free commonwealth ; you cannot make it the 
heritage of your children. What I ask are constitu- 
tions, and courts, and legislatures, and judges, and 
governors, and magistrates? What but the outward 
signs and symbols, the external manifestations of in- 
ternal, invisible ideas of order, of rule, of government, 
of reverence for authority, of the "proud submission" 
of a free, but obedient people, who love law, and truth, 
and justice? But what if you have but the outward 
show, the mere flimsy trappings of these things, while 
there exists no inward moral sentiment answering 
thereto ? Are not form and spirit, in all rightly consti- 
tuted systems, always joined together, in this economy? 
Do you think it possible to preserve the formal ele- 
ment, when the spiritual idea belonging to it is lost and 
perished ! Moreover do not the external symbols de- 
rive all their worth and value from the moral sentiment 
they are designed to express? Indeed, the best-con- 


ceived, the most skillfully contrived political system is 
a thing of "shreds and patches;" if there is no senti- 
ment or principle in a people answering thereto. As 
well plant the institutions and polity of Great Britain 
among the savages of the South Seas ; or put the re- 
publican system of America in the hands of the King 
of Dahomy ! 

The free system into which we were schooled before 
we came here, and which we have chosen for this 
nation, depends upon consent, intelligence, and mor- 
ality. Deprive it of these elements, and it dies out. 
We need, therefore, the principle of virtue in the people 
in their homes, among their children, in their hearts. 
Without this spring of noble action and of lofty duty, 
we perish. With the constant influence of an ancient, 
ever-present paganism in our midst, we ourselves shall 
become paganized, unless this correction be made to 
act powerfully among us. 

If I am asked what I mean by virtue, I answer — 
INWARD BEAUTY, or excellence of soul. I mean that 
deep-rooted principle which rejects the gross ; which 
repels immorality; which refuses the mastery of mere 
sense and appetite ; which resists the control of pas- 
sion; which maintains an obliviousness of impurity 
and vileness. I mean that lofty sentiment which craves 
the good; which yearns after rectitude and truth; 
which rejoices in the fair and glorious things of this 
wondrous creation of God around us ; which delights 
itself in the higher attractions of mind and thought, of 
art and poetry ; which gladdens itself above all, in the 


majesty of the moral Law, and the magnific glories of 
the Infinite ! 

This principle of virtue is to be maintained here by 
the devotedness of churches ; by the zeal of ministers ; 
by the assiduities of teachers ; by the care and disci- 
pline of fathers ; by the anxieties, the prayers, and the 
tears of mothers ; by the modest chastity of maidens ; 
by the morality and self-control of young men ; by the 
piety and beauty of obedient children. Subsidiary to 
these relations and their sacred duties, will be the recti- 
tude of governors and magistrates; the justice and 
purity of courts and judges; the sanctity and the in- 
violability of the marriage relation, widely trenched 
upon already in this land T}y rash legislation and unholy 
license; by the virtuous industry of an enterprising 
people, and by the enlightenment which comes from 
common schools and superior education. 

And now, young men, I have endeavored to fulfill 
the duty you have imposed upon me for this day, by 
speaking of the Nation's youth, and addressing you, 
the youth of the Nation. Let me set before you, sum- 
marily, what I have aimed to do. I have attempted to 
show, 1st, That we, in this day and generation — we 
men, women, aye, and even youth and little children, 
are, by virtue of our position, the founders and the 
fathers of a rising nation. And 2d, That in conse- 
quence of this august relation, we are living and work- 
ing for the future, either to bless or to curse. 

And now, young men, what will you be, and what 
will you do? Do not misunderstand my question. It 


is not, what office you will reach? What title you will 
bear? The question is— What will you be really in 
your souls, internally in your heart of hearts, for the 
production of thorough, earnest, character? I have 
but little concern, I must confess, whether you get any 
great place in government, or whether you will ever 
rise to any high office. Indeed, young men, I am one 
of those heretics who doubt very much whether you 
yourselves would reap much advantage thereby, or do 
much good to others. I do not agree, by any means, 
and I tell you it in all candor, with those who think 
that every thing depends upon you. I acknowledge 
your usefulness. I see the need of young men, for if 
there were no young men there could never be any old 
men. But let me tell you that the theory which is 
getting in vogue in our country, and in none other 
under the sun, namely, that young men are the life, the 
soul, the main-stay, the real strength of a country, is 
all balderdash ! The real might of a country is cen- 
tered in character; and if the young men of a country 
have more character than any other class, then they are 
the pillars of the State. On no other condition. But 
you cannot claim, merely because you are young men, 
that its main dependence is upon you. You may have 
more learning than your fathers; but let me tell you 
that Latin, and Greek, and science, though valuable, 
are not education. "With the talents of an angel, a 
man may be a fool." Learning is letters. Education 
is prudence, common sense, judgment, discretion, prac- 
ticality. The fool may have the former ; a man, nay 


many a man, who never went to school, may be edu- 
cated. Young men, with your learning you need ex- 
perience and wisdom, and for the acquisition of these 
the period of early life is given you. The period of 
youth is the period of study, the period of self-regula- 
tion, the period for mental acquisitions, the period for 
careful preparation. Anxious though you may be, 
and anxious as you should be to serve your country, 
stand back a while, I advise you, until you get the 
thorough training, the experience, the knowledge of 
history and of men, and the broad common sense 
which are fitted for hard and long-continued service ; 
in this consists true education ; and without it all the 
letters and learning in the world will prove but as the 
senseless utterance of a parrot. 

But I asked you also, What will you do? Look 
around you then at the vast moral waste which sur- 
rounds us in this country, and throughout this continent, 
and think of the multitudinous minds, of the vast ener- 
gies, of the painful labors, of the marytr-like self-sacri- 
fice, on the part of both Church and State, which are 
to be expended, from generation to generation, ere the 
great work of God and humanity on this soil, will 
approach its consummation ! Open your eyes upon 
the deep vistas of grand futurity; glance along the 
long alleys of coming times, crowded with the rising 
generations, both emigrant and native, coming up into 
life, and falling into the ranks of society and the State ; 
and then think of all the sober, earnest work which is 
to be done by us, in our day, to prepare them for the 


burdens and duties of their position. You will have to 
participate in this work ; and therefore I entreat you, 
"Gird up your loins," young men, for duty. Con- 
scious. that the mission of life is pregnant with obliga- 
tion and deep responsibility, grapple in with its diffi- 
culties and its burdens, like young heroes. And this, 
not in some high-expected position ; but here, right 
here, in this country, right here, amid the relations you 
now sustain. Serve God, and serve your country, just 
where you are ; however lowly your position, however 
rugged your pathway. Serve GOD, and not the devil. 
Serve your country, and not your lusts. And this, by 
meeting the duties of your sphere; not by leaving 
them, but by ennobling them by faithfulness and man- 
hood^ By standing quietly in your lot, as expectant 
but humble youth ; and not by rushing into spheres 
unfitted to your years and unadapted to your untrained 
powers ; for remember, 

" They also serve who only stand and wait." 

For great and weighty is the responsibility of this 
young nation to God and man. Great suffering has 
been the portion of this people, but mingled mercy 
and Providential gifts accompanied it, from the hand 
of God. Sore and grievous was the trial of your 
fathers in the dark land of thraldom ; but they were 
permitted, in humble hands, to bear from thence, 
across the seas, the fiery cross of Jesus, and the torch 
of civilization. And thus having received these gifts, 
hand them bright and luminous to the next generation, 


that they may pass them on to their successors, and so 
they may cross the continent and lighten up, by their 
rays, the deep solitudes of the interior, and scatter the 
darkness from the habitations of many a heathen tribe, 
until the whole land shall be redeemed from grossness, 
and superstition, and benightedness, to culture and to 

And so may God bless the young men of Monrovia ! 
And so may He bless the young men of Liberia ! 

Our National Mistakes and the 
Remedy for Them. 

Delivered before the Common Council and the Citizens of 
Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, July 26th, 1870, being the 
Day of National Independence. 


Fellow Citizens : — I have met somewhere with 
the remark that " man beats towards the truth." The 
meaning is that we do not reach truth directly, in a 
straight line ; but that we arrive at it by treading the 
winding pathways of experience. The saying is a 
nautical one, easily understood by any one who has 
ever sailed upon the high seas. 

The gallant ship that sets out upon a voyage rarely 
meets with those direct, propitious gales, which bear 
her along in a straight, undeviating line, to the wished- 
for haven. For, perchance, at the very outset, contrary 
winds retard her progress. Then the skill of her com- 
mander is put to the test. He does not reverse his 
course, and return again to the harbor from whence he 
sailed; but bravely meets the winds, adverse though 
they be.. Now he turns his sail to the windward, and 
makes a tack ; and now again he changes his canvass, 
and sails a point to the leeward : and so, by one tack 
and another, he bids defiance to opposing gales ; beats 
towards the port desired ; and sails triumphantly on his 


So man beats towards the truth. We fall into an 
error, and then retrace our steps. In the very act of 
recovering ourselves we step, perchance, into a deeper 
maze. Once more we make the attempt to advance; 
and, possibly, at length, proceed aright. 

The poet Young, doubtless had this fact in view, in 
penning the well-known lines: — 

"At thirty, man suspects himself a fool, 
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan." 

Painful and embarrassing as is such experience, it is 
not entirely useless. We are learning somewhat the 
narrowness of the circle of our vision, the incomplete- 
ness of our faculties, the necessity of prudence, the 
worth of forecast and judgment. And thus it is, that, 
by one mishap and another; a tantalizing blunder, a 
blind miscalculation, a heedless misadventure : we learn 
the lessons of caution ; we are sharpened up to sagacity; 
and gather to ourselves a harvest of wisdom. 

It is such trials as these, for they are trials to temper, 
patience, and desire — that harden character; and, to 
quote the words of a master, "because they render 
being upon our guard, resolution, and the denial of our 
passions, necessary in order to that end." 

The nation, as a man, beats about into one error and 
another; flounders now into this blunder, now in that; 
now halts or falls behind ; rushes perchance, into a rash 
procedure and is made to smart most keenly for it; but 
by and by, after many bitter experiences, learns the 
truth ; gathers, from divers mishaps, a masterful wis- 
dom; falls gradually into a corrective prudence; and 


arrives, at length, at the policies which are wise, 
judicious, and restorative. 

Such being the experience of both nations and men ; 
you will not ask of me any excuse if I call your atten- 

Remedies for them." 

I take up this subject for the reason that, having 
done something, we thus show that we can 6!o more. 
I am anxious that we should do more in the future ; 
and hence I attempt to-day the discovery of some of the 
obstructions which have heretofore prevented a larger 
work/ I am encouraged to this discussion by the 
universal desire in the land, for a broader, more states- 
manlike policy, and the conviction everywhere freely 
expressed, that nothing but a complete, but healthful, 
revolution of plans and policies, can give this nation 
success and aggrandizement. 

I am cheered to the duty before me by the fact, that 
the self-congratulation of former years, has passed 
away; and that the people of Liberia have become 
greatly sobered to duty. Thank God that the self- 
•praise and the idle vanity of the past have vanished ; 
the past and the present too, seem little, compared with 
the rising proportions and the bold magnitude of the 

I. One great mistake of the people of Liberia has been 
neglect of our native population. I do not say that this 
has been universally the case ; and I am glad to aver 
that it has been unaccompanied with a malignant will. 
The fault has been more relative than absolute. We 


have far fallen short of our duty, than is either justifiable 
or excusable. We have been guilty of a neglect, which 
has carried with it harm to the aborigines ; and, at the 
same time, visited grievous wrong upon ourselves. 

Our mistake in this matter has sprung, first of all 
from a too strong self-consciousness of civilized power. 
Nor is this to be wondered at. As a people we were 
"ferried over," in a month, or little more, from a state 
of degradation to a position of independence and 
superiority. In a little more than a monthly change of 
the moon, we were metamorphosed from the' position of 
underlings to one of mastery ; with a vast population 
of degraded subjects around us. We should have been 
angels instead of men, if the contrast, between ourselves 
and the heathen around us, had not made a most vivid 
impression upon our minds ; had not somewhat in- 
flamed our imaginations. It has done both ; it has led 
to an exaggeration of our own capacities. It has made 
us oblivious of our own humbling antecedents. It has 
blinded too many of us to the fact that we are but a few 
generations removed from the condition and the be- 
nightedness of the heathen around us. It has made us 
forgetful of the great duties we owe these people who 
serve us in our families and work on our farms. It has 
led too many to look down upon the native as an 
inferior, placed at such a distance from us, that concord 
and oneness seem almost impossibilities for aye ! 

Let us be just and candid with ourselves, and look 
this matter fairly in the face ; for, if we cannot call 
ourselves rigidly to account for any of our policies, we 


cannot make any, improvement, and must surely die. 
Look first at the personal aspects of the case, observe 
how few persons send their native boys to school ; how 
seldom they are taught to read ; how unusual it is to 
accustom them to proper habits of dress ; how that it is 
only by dozens, instead of hundreds, they are so trained 
as to fall into our civilized habits ; and that only in- 
dividuals among them become ministers and teachers. 

Next, view the matter in its governmental bearings. 
See how carelessly, thoughtlessly, we have ignored the 
national obligation to train, educate, civilize, and regu- 
late the heathen tribes around us ! 

With a rigorous hand, caused, I know, by their own 
wilfulness "or folly, we have made them feel, at times, 
our superiority and mastery. But what have we done 
— what, I mean, on a large and noble scale, to assure 
them of our sense of obligation to do them good ; to 
impress upon their souls the awfulness of majestic law, 
as the regulating force of society; or to mold them, 
body, soul, and spirit, by the plastic and elevating in- 
'fluence of letters, civilization, and the Divine Word ? 

No native king has ever had sent to him, by the 
government, a teacher to educate his children and his 
people. No sons of princes have been brought from 
our native tribes to be educated by the government. 
No government farms have been established for the 
training of native men in the pursuits of agriculture. 
No native kings or head men have ever been invited to 
sit, as advisers or senators, in our Legislature, to repre- 
sent their tribes, and to show them the advantages of 


civilized and responsible government. No commis- 
sioners have been sent from tribe to tribe, from king to 
king, to offer pecuniary inducements or government 
prizes, for the cultivation of coffee, cotton, pepper, or 
ginger. And, at the close of our several wars, no single 
effort has ever been made to bring tribes into closer 
neighbourhood to us, by the opening of roads as a con- 
dition of peace, and as a bond of friendship. Even 
native prisoners when discharged from custody, have 
gone forth from our control untrained in useful trades, 
and ignorant of profitable handicraft. 

A Second mistake in our policy has been our depend- 
ence upon, and our eager desire for, the foreign supply of 
our needs, to the culpable neglect of our native resources 
and of native skill. 

This point offers a wide field for discussion, and 
deserves to be noticed by itself as a single theme. I 
must not pass it by, however ; but will compress it into 
as small a space as possible. 

The mistake discovers itself in two particulars, (i.) 
Let me call your attention to the prodigality of nature 
in this tropical clime ; in the air ; in the teeming waters ; 
in the marvelous productiveness of the soil ; in the 
wild herds roaming the forests ; in the priceless gums 
exuding from vines and trees; and in the rich woods, 
rotting down from century to century, worthless and 
waste ! 

Just go up to the St. Paul's river an hour or two's 
ride ; nnrl where, under the sun, enn you find such 
mvririds oi hsh ;is swarm its waters? Go across the 


level plains of Caldwell, and look at the wild prairie 
land, stretching out almost uninterruptedly scores of 
miles; with grass sufficient for "multitudes of cattle. 
Go out an hour's walk, in the settlement of Virginia, 
and see, at night, the wild oxen and the gallant deer, 
which come into the farmsteads, tearing up cassada 
roots, plucking potato vines, and stealing- sugar canes. 

Notice, too, the large quantities of corn, meal, and 
rice imported into the country; when we can easily 
produce two crops a year on our own lands, and largely 
export to foreign lands. Mackerel, codfish, and her- 
ring, in thousands of barrels, are brought to our ports; 
while the very same fish, sport in our own waters. 
And in less than ten years such will be here, as already 
in Sierra Leone, the valuable results of our own fishing 
operations, that our children will wonder at the careless 
neglect and lack of enterprise of the present day. 

See, again, the large quantities of plank brought to 
Liberia; while we have, in our wilderness, the most 
precious of woods, cedar, saffron, mahogany, iron teak, 
and rose. And here too are the facilities of wind and 
water for mills ; and yet there is not a single wind-mill 
in the country, and not half-a-dozen water-mills. 

And yet, with all these vast opportunities for wealth, 
we lack a full supply of our needs, and send across the 
ocean for no small portion of the articles of family 
consumption, which are needed for our tables ! 

I said there were two aspects of the neglect of our 
native resources, and of native skill. I have referred 
to one. Now let me refer to the other, 


(2.) That other is our slight grasp upon the interior 
trade. It is slight because we have less of it than any- 
trading people on this Western Coast. Go to any of 
their settlements, and you will find their "factories" 
scores, sometimes hundreds, of miles in the interior. 

The foreigner comes to the coast. For a few months 
he languishes under the influence of fever; but shortly 
he shakes it off; and now you hear of him far up on 
the banks of the Senegal, the Gambia, or the Niger, 
pushing his active trade. 

How does not this contrast with our partial move- 
ments ! Our operations but skirt the coast. We have 
not got a factory further inland than Vauzah ! Every 
one here knows the grounds of this difference. The 
other governments send their protective and regulating 
power far into the interior. But while we can com- 
mand as much personal bravery and endurance as any 
other people in Africa, our government influence is 
partial and limited. 

Note another aspect of this case. Observe the small 
advantage we are taking of native labour in carrying on 
the work of improvement in the land. In this single 
county of Messurada we can count the names of no 
less than a dozen tribes. And yet notice (1) The 
limited contact of our communities with the aborigines ; 
(2) The great lack of labourers amoung our planters; 
and (3) The comparatively small amount of trade we 
draw from the interior. Considering the period of our 
settlement here, we ought to be touching tens of thou- 
sands of these people on every side, and far in the 


interior, with a more plastic and regenerating power 
than we are now exerting. We ought, moreover, to 
be employing, by this time, many more thousands of 
natives on farms ; availing ourselves of the vast riches 
of the interior ; and training masses of them into civil- 
ized communities and enlightened citizens. 

Look at the labour question. What is the most 
dazzling, anxious, problem to our large sugar planters ? 
Labourers ! Every farmer of any magnitude is con- 
stantly putting the query — How can we get a fuller 
supply of fixed, steady, trustworthy labourers, for the 
cultivation and the ingathering of our crops? And 
this question is put in a country where there are tens 
of thousands of unemployed, but vigorous men, unpro- 
ductive ; but fitted, as well by the habit of labour as by 
physical power, to all the needs of our agricultural 

For this, I maintain, is the nature of the case. The 
native man has not only physical capacity, but he has 
also the habit of labour. He is a WORKER ; notwith- 
standing all that Mr. Carlyle and all his brother An- 
thropologists, may say to the contrary.* The criterion 
of industry is, if I mistake not, this, that is — "Do a 
people work up to the level of their necessities and their 
cultivation f If they do, then they are industrious, if 
not, not! 

The native African does work, and that most gladly, 
up to the level of his cultivation and his needs ; not 
indeed, I grant you, up to the civilized man's needs; 

* See " Latter Day Tracts," by Thomas Carlyle. 


for he is a barbarian. He does not work for a brick 
house, for carpets and chairs, for books and pictures. 
He has not reached that point of civilization, which 
requires such things. Neither did Mr. Carlyle's grand- 
fathers when Caesar came to Britain. These things are 
not the native man's needs. His needs are rice, cas- 
sada, palm oil, and a hut; not awry, dirty, and ready 
to fall, like a thriftless Italian's or a rude Irishman's, 
but perfect and complete. And these needs are always 
supplied. Who ever heard of a famine in the country, 
caused by native laziness? 

And, therefore, I say that our native population have 
the habit of labour, and are industrious. They are in- 
dustrious according to their habits and training; we 
must teach them ours. 

And yet, with all our needs, we have never taken the 
proper steps, either by a skilful increase of their wants, 
or by a generous mode of interesting them in the profits 
of labor, to avail themselves of their powers and fitness 
for wide and productive use ! How great a blunder ! 

Look again at our halting, national and individual 
prosperity. What is a common complaint throughout 
the length and breadth of the land ! The slowness of 
our accumulation of wealth ! Contrast this fact with 
the vast talent wealth of this part of the continent, or 
the revenues of the colonies and settlements which 
draw to themselves the riches of Lagos or Sierra- 

Think of the forests of palm trees in the interior; 
their golden fruit falling wastefully on the sod, and then 


springing up again in crowded clusters, painfully push- 
ing their feathery tops towards the skies ! Think of the 
forests of camwood growing wild, hundreds of miles all 
through this country, and, in their maturity, going to 
decay and falling prostrate to manure the land for a 
ranker luxuriance ! Think of the multitudinous vines, 
and shrubs, and trees, constantly wasting their exuding 
gums upon the ground — gums which, in foreign lands, 
would command millions of dollars ! Think of the 
vast and valuable beds of precious minerals, rivalling, 
perhaps, the riches of California, now lurking, hidden 
from human sight, in bye and sequestered places 
through all the land ! Think of the thousands of 
plants of matchless virtue, which science and pharmacy 
would gladly welcome to the laboratory, now growing 
up in the wilderness, but to wither, die, 

" And waste their richness on the desert air ! " 

And yet, after all this, the liveliest imagination can 
hardly measure the wondrous riches which God has 
scattered at almost every footfall throughout this 
country to our very doors ! 

And yet the acquisition of these products, one of the 
prime conditions of our existence and success on this 
soil, has been only casually attended to, or, else, in too 
frequent cases, passed over with neglect or indifference ! 

II. I have thus stated some of the more prominent 

deficiencies of our national policy. And now I beg to 

remark that they are all, for the most part capable of 

remedy. It is in our power, I feel assured, to com- 



mence, at an early day, a new and effectual policy, and 
to enter thereby upon a career of growth, prosperity, 
and beneficence, parallel to the successful progress of 
many of the new-born states of modern times. 

I know the smallness of our means. I feel too the 
need of aid in carrying on fully the processes of suc- 
cessful civilization, in such a wide territory as stretches 
out beyond us to the heart of this continent; for we 
must aim to touch graciously even that outer bound. 
And, as for myself as an individual, I do indeed covet 
that aid, let it come from any quarter. Not indeed for 
ourselves ; but for the great work which we are to do, 
in civilizing and evangelizing the rude and benighted 
neighbours about us. I see, too, somewhat, I think, 
how great help could be secured for this mighty work. 

For help we need. There is nothing humiliating in 
such an avowal. It is the common need of new na- 
tions. Wherever before did a handful of people, less 
in number than thousands of nameless American vil- 
lages, set up the fabric, and assume the functions of 
national life? Even should Liberia fail, that is in at- 
tempting such a vast undertaking, there would be noth- 
ing inglorious in it; no evidence of race inferiority. It 
would be but one of the many instances of glorious tin- 
success. It would only be the venture of a child to do 
the work of a giant, and he could not compass it. But 
we are, child though we be in form and power, we are 
compassing it; only our powers are overtasked; we 
miss provident opportunities; we ofttimes "beat the 
air;" we waste healthful energies. 


We need help; and we must fain secure it, if aid 
and succour can possibly be secured. But not, I as- 
sure you, by a declaration that black men cannot carry 
on a nation ; and then go begging some foreign people 
to take us as^ colonial vassals, or contemptuous append- 
ages ! 

Now I do not wish Liberia to become, a colony of 
any nation. I want her to maintain, forever, distinct 
nationality. After our experience of independence we 
could not endure colonial subjection. Well and truly 
says Lord Lytton, concerning liberty — "The first thing 
is to get it; the next thing is to keep it; the third 
thing is to increase it." * And so we, having got inde- 
pendence, must not give it up. 

I here, indeed, some talk of annexation to America. 
Why not to the planet Jupiter? Fellow Citizens — I 
am astonished at a proposition, at once so humiliating 
in its nature and so disastrous in its tendency ; and I 
stand here to-day, and entreat you, with all my heart 
and voice — don't you have anything to do with such a 
wild and deadly scheme. 

Fellow Citizens — the genius of free government, dur- 
ing the ages, visited in turn a few favoured spots of 
earth, for the gift of freedom and civil liberty. She 
visited, in ancient times, the states of Greece and Rome. 
She visited, in the middle ages, the Venetian territory 
and the Republic of Genoa. In our modern era, she 
long dwelt amid the mountain fastnesses of Switzer- 
land ; on the sea-girt isles of Britain ; in the new-born, 

* " Caxtoniana," by Lord Lytton. 


the virgin, territories of America. But never once did 
she visit this West coast of Africa; never take up her 
abode in any quarter of this vast and benighted con- 

Now, in these latter days of the world's history, filled 
with generous desires for Africa, she stooped from her 
lofty flight, and visited the lowly sons of Africa, pain- 
fully toiling on the farms of Maryland and Virginia, in 
the rice fields -of Carolina, or amid the everglades of 
Florida ; and whispered in their ears her good intents 
for this their fatherland. And when they, at her 
promptings, came o'er the seas, she accompanied them ; 
and set up here, in this seat of ancient despotism and 
bloody superstitions, the first free, civilized, and Chris- 
tian Negro government that Africa had ever known 
from the dawn of history ! 

And now, I ask, are you, because of some pain and 
toil, some trouble and poverty, going to unmake his- 
tory? Because of some little suffering, will you put 
back ten degrees the dial of the world's progress? 
Well nigh every foot of land on this West Coast, which 
lies upon the sea-board, is in the possession of some 
European power? Will you give up every rod of this 
coast for foreign possession? Will you not retain a 
foot of land on this coast for Africa's self and her sons? 
Is there not to be one single free Negro government in 
the world. Circle the earth ; and where can you find 
one single, responsible, representative, Negro govern- 
ment among the nations? And will you sweep this 
one lone, simple, star from the heavens? 


The United States Government, however, can do 
great things, through us, for the regeneration of Africa. 
It would be immodest to assert that she owes us a debt; 
but the averment, is, without doubt, a proper one, that 
America is deeply indebted to Africa. And providence 
seems to have made us, who spring from her loins, the 
proper channels in Africa, of her prompt and generous 
Christian solicitudes, and, as I trust eventually, of her 
governmental succor and assistance. For it seems to 
me that now, as the United States has begun a colonial 
"policy, it would not be unseemly in that great nation to 
extend to this nascent state the many advantages of a 
colony without its disadvantages, that is, by the offer 
and the guarantee of a PROTECTORATE to Liberia, for a 
lengthy period, for specific ends, pertaining to African 
regeneration; with those monetary helps and assist- 
ances, and that naval guardianship, which would en- 
able us to commence a greater work of interior civiliza- 
tion, by the means of roads, model farms, and manual 
labor schools ; with the definite condition that our 
internal economy, and our full national functions, should 
remain intact and undisturbed.* 

Such a protectorate, or some such strengthening and 
assuring aid; would supply that government patron- 
age, of which Liberia alone, of all modern or ancient 
colonies that I know of, has never felt the fostering 
care and sustentation ; and would soon enable us to 
enter vigorously upon that regenerating policy, in this 

•Greece; the Ionian Isles; and the Sandwich Islands are examples of the compar- 
ability of national life with a foreign protectorate, 


part of Africa, which I will now endeavor to point out. 

And first, I would suggest the duty of rising to a 
higher appreciation of the native man, his usefulness 
and his worth. I present this first, because all the 
great outer works of man come from an internal root; 
are the fruit of sentiment or principle. 

I fear that we are lacking in that recognition of the 
native man, as a future element of society, which is 
desirable, as well for our needs, as for his good, and 
God's glory. And this assuredly should not be the 
case ; for here is a Man, who, however rude and un- 
cultivated, is sure to stand. The hardihood of the race 
through long centuries, its quiet resistance to the most 
terrible assaults upon its vitality ; its resurrection to life 
and active duties, after a ghastly burial of centuries .in 
the caves of despair, in the graves of servitude and ob- 
livious degradation, are all prophetic of a lasting future. 
Other races of men, in foreign lands, as in America and 
New Zealand, fall before an incoming emigrant popula- 
tion. But this is not our mission here; and, if it were, 
it is not in our power, that is, we have not the ability, 
to destroy the native. With all his simplicity he 
thoroughly feels this. You see that he does not lose 
his countenance in your presence ; and he knows not 
fear. In his character you see nothing stolid, repulsive, 
indomitable. On the other hand he is curious, mobile, 
imitative He sees your superiority, and acknowledges 
it by copying your habits. He is willing to serve you ; 
and, after being in your service, he carries home with 
him the " spoils," which he has gathered in your family, 


by observation and experience ; which make him there 
a superior fellow to his neighbor. There too, in his 
own tribe, you see that he is sure to live, for he fully 
supplies his own needs ; rears a goodly family ; culti- 
vates jollity ; attains a good old age ; and shows great 

Now this being shows clearly that he has. the needed 
qualities to make a proper man. Everywhere, where 
the trial has been made, he has passed out of his prim- 
itive rudeness, and made a step in advance of his 
former state. 

Why then should we doubt the full and equal ability 
of the native man to become all that we are, and do all 
that we can do? — Indeed I can hardly maintain my 
gravity, while talking thus to you. For who indeed are 
wet Right glad am I that there are no Europeans 
here to-day; for surely they would see the almost 
ludicrousness of such an address from such an one as I 
am — and to you! 

Have faith in the native. You have trusted him — 
trusted him to nurse your children — trusted him with 
your goods in trading — trusted your life in his hands, 
in fragile canoes — trusted yourself, unprotected, in his 
sequestered native villages. Go now to a farther length 
— trust him as a man, fitted to 

-" Move and act 

In all the correspondences of nature." 

In the second place I would suggest the use of well- 
regulated and judicious measures, in order to secure 
the vast resources of the interior. What I desire to see 


undertaken is alliances with powerful tribes in the in- 
terior, to secure thereby permanently open roads, and 
the uninterrupted flow of trade; not indeed as an end, 
but for the ultimate purposes which lie beyond trade, 
but of which trade is everywhere a facile agent — I 
mean general civilization, and the entrance of the con- 
trolling influences of Christianity. Surely the command 
comes to us as a Christian nation — "Prepare ye the 
way of the Lord." And I have the deep conviction 
that this work is not a difficult one. What prevents 
our government organizing an armed police, and a line 
of forts to the interior, whose presence and power could 
be felt up to the border line of our territory? How 
soon then, especially in this country, would vanish 
those petty native fights, which annually obstruct trad- 
ing operations six and eight months at a time, and 
which inflict the loss of thousands of dollars. What 
should prevent our government enjoining upon our 
subject natives the maintenance of peace, the constant 
opening of trade paths, and the bridging of rivers and 

Perhaps it may be said that we have no right to 
command, or press such regulations upon our native 
population. To this I reply that both our position and 
our circumstances make us the guardians, the protectors, 
and the teachers of our heathen tribes. And, hence, 
it follows that all the legitimate means which may tend 
to preserve them, which anticipate bloody antagonisms, 
and which tend to their mental, moral, and social 
advancement, determine themselves as just and proper. 


All historic fact shows that force, that is authority, 
must be used in the exercise of guardianship over 
heathen tribes. Mere theories of democracy are trivial 
in this case, and can never nullify this necessity. You 
cannot apply them to a rude people, incapable of per- 
ceiving their own place in the moral scale, nor of 
understanding the social and political obligations which 
belong to responsible humanity- " Force and right," 
says a brilliant writer, " are the governors of this world ; 
force till right is ready. * * * * And till right is 
ready, force, the existing order of things, is justified, is 
the legitimate ruler." And he adds — "Right is some- 
thing moral, and implies inward recognition, free assent 
of the will; we are not ready for right — right, so far as 
we are concerned, is not ready, until we have attained 
this sense of seeing it and willing it." * Out of this 
grows the necessary tutelage of children to the years of 
their majority. Hence also the stern necessity of as- 
suming the nonage — the childhood of the natives; 
and, consequently, our responsibility of guardianship 
over them.f 

Now, in our exercise of wardship, nothing can be 
more serious than that terminal exercise of force which 
lags at the heel of disaster, and is only supplemental to 

*" Essays in Criticisms," by Matthew Arnold. 

t " To characterize any conduct whatever towards a barbarous people as a violation 
of the ' Law of Nations,' only shows that he who so speaks has never considered the sub- 
ject. A violation of great principles of morality it may easily be; but barbarians have no 
rights as a nation, except a right to such treatment as may, at the earliest possible period, 
. fit them for becoming one. The only moral laws for the relation between a civilized and 
a barbarous government are the universal rules of morality between man and man." — 
Dissertations and Discussions, &=c, by John Stuart Mill, vol.3. Art.: A Few 
Words on Non-intervention. 


sanguinary calamities. You would despise a parent 
who postponed all the training of his children till moral 
ruin had seized them ; and then only gave them venge- 
ful retribution. So, likewise, is the nation despicable 
which claims the right of force over blinded heathens ; 
but can only use that force as the instrument of retalia- 
tion for real or supposed injuries. 

No, fellow citizens, force is, indeed, our prerogative 
and our duty with respect to the native ; but I maintain 
that it should be the force of restoration and progress — 
the force which anticipates the insensate ferocity of the 
pagan, by demonstrating the blessedness of permanent 
habitation and lasting peace ; which forestalls a degrad- 
ing ignorance and superstition, by the enlightenment of 
schools and training; which neutralizes the bareness of 
a native rusticity by the creation of new wants and the 
stimulation of old ones ; which nullifies and uproots a 
gross heathen domesticity by elevating woman and intro- 
ducing the idea of family and home. 

But you say that all this work, all the machinery for 
carrying on this work, will be expensive. Of course it 
will be. But then look at the other side of this matter. 
Is not that expensive too? 

Look at our war expeditions and our tribal diffi- 
culties, and their great cost. The " interdicts" on trade, 
which the government has had to enforce, and the con- 
sequent loss of thousands of dollars ; is not that a matter 
of consideration? Who can fully estimate that loss? 

The Sinou war of '61 cost this nation 15,000 dollars. 
It occurred at the commencement of the planting season. 


and drew off hundreds men from their labour; which 
involved an additional loss of fully 15,000 dollars work. 

In addition to all this, it included the loss of life of 
several sturdy, valiant, industrious men, whose places, 
as citizens, husbands, and fathers cannot be filled ; and 
whose value cannot be estimated. 

Look at our difficulties in '66 with King Boyer. Who 
of you here can tell me the full sum total of the loss 
the government " interdict" on trade, at Bassa, has 
caused this nation? 

Now look at a different policy — suppose years ago, 
when we purchased that territory, we had sent a school- 
master to teach King Boyer's children, and, at the same 
time, to act as a Liberian magistrate, to assist him in 
settling difficulties ; — suppose Boyer, at every session 
of the Legislature, had been invited to sit with the 
Senate as an advisory chief, entertained, meanwhile, by 
the Executive and leading citizens ; suppose that, at a 
proper time, we had followed up this policy by establish- 
ing a farm school, in King Boyer's neighborhood, for 
the growth of coffee and other products, and the train- 
ing of boys in carpentering and other trades, and in the 
profits of which King Boyer-himself should be a chief 
participant; — do you think that, with such a policy, we 
should ever have been troubled by that chief as we 
have been? Or, rather, do you not think that such a 
system would have increased Boyer's personal self-re- 
spect and conscious dignity ; filled him with the moral 
burdens of responsibility ; raised him, long since, almost 
to the point of civilization ; put his people on the roacl 


to civilization ; and spread the influence thereof to 
neighbouring tribes? 

Put such a system into operation, and, in less than five 
years, you will see its magnitude and its magical opera- 
tions all through our territory; in the alliance of strong 
chiefs and tribes ; in the undisturbed opening of roads ; 
in the constant flow of the treasures of the interior to 
the sea-board ; and in the quest of powerful kings, and 
mighty men, even from the Kong range, for the educa- 
tion of their children, and the enlightenment which 
comes from the beaming rays of the Cross of Calvary ! 

You think still, perchance, of the expense of such a 
policy. But think also of the large export duty such a 
system would give you ; — think of the capability it 
would give the people for meeting direct taxation ; — 
think of the confidence and assurance with which it 
would inspire distant capitalists for adventure ; — think 
of the gravitating influence of the trade and barter of 
great nations to Liberia ! 

Why the very report of such largeness, energy, and 
noble forecast, would bring the unsolicited capital of 
great nations to your doors, for your encouragement 
and support. Such a system would delight the heart 
of universal Christendom ! It would attract the gaze 
of all the mission societies in the Protestant world ! It 
would deepen the confident assurance of all the friends 
of the Negro, in every quarter of the globe ! It would 
bring to your shores the congratulations and assistance 
of great nations and mighty kingdoms, intent upon the 
regeneration of Africa ! 



And, believe me, some such work of magnitude must 
be undertaken by us, or, otherwise, we shall lose all noble- 
ness of feeling and endeavour ; we shall become gross, 
sordid, and sensual; and so insignificant and trifling 
will be the life of this nation that, by and by, the dec- 
laration will become a common one everwhere — "That 
people are undeserving national recognitipn; they 
are only playing at government ; they are not fit to live !" 

To prevent such a degrading fling at us, we must give 
up the idle notion of dragging hither a nation from 
America, and go to work at once in the great endeavour 
to construct a vast national existence out of the native 
material about us. 

And such a system you can commence. It has been 
done by other people with no larger resources than 
yours, and under circumstances not a whit more promis- 
ing or advantageous. Some of you have heard of the 
early history of the Indian Empire of Great Britain, and 
of its marvelous after-growth from a seed of insignifi- 
cance. Some of you are familiar with the trials of the 
first colonists to America ; and how, in a few memora- 
ble instances, by a policy, alike skillful and Christian, 
they quenched the ferocity of their Indian neighbours, 
and pushed their trade into the interior safe and un- 
molested. Some of you here, who indulge in the lux- 
ury of fiction, will call to mind how, with a graphic and 
a winning style, COOPER, in his "Leather Stocking 
Tales," shows us how by advanced posts and small forts 
the first settlers of New York carried their fur trade to 
the very borders of the Canadas. 


I must not, however, recall to your remembrance such 
a picture as this without presenting to your notice its 
possible disastrous contrast. For, if you do not soon 
undertake the more general improvement of your native 
population, the native men who have lived in your 
families, and been sharpened up by your civrlized 
superiority, will give you, by and by, a visitation of 
sorest anguish. They will combine together, along the 
line of our interior border, in their several tribes, from 
Gallinas to Palmas ; and then you will have here, in 
Africa, such a league of natives as the Indians once 
formed against the early colonists of Massachusetts; 
who will come down to the sea-board, in sanguinary 
ferocity and terrible array, to destroy every vestige of 
religion, every relic of civilization, and sweep us, if 
possible, into the sea!* 

Now let me call your attention to the basis, which 
lies deep bedded in the native man's nature, for such a 
policy as I have endeavoured to point out. For the 
law of fitness must needs be regarded, or, otherwise, all 
your measures will prove fruitless. We must adjust 
our system to those conditions of society, and those 
idiosyncracies of the nature, which are likely to serve 
as a basis for general improvement. 

*The prediction, contained in the above paragraph, had been scarcely uttered before 
the author was informed of its correctness and reality, as a. fact / Immediately after the 
adjournment of the meeting, on the ist of August, at Clay Ashland, Mr. S. Anderson, the 
commissioner to the Barline County, who had just returned from the interior, remarked 
to the Author, — " Well, you prophesied rightly to-day about native combinations against 
us. The interior tribes had effected a league, and were about commencing operations; 
but my expedition has broken the whole thing up. If the Government had not sent a 
commissioner to Palaka, and made the liberal offers she has to the Barline tribe, Liberia 
would soon have been most seriously assailed by hostile tribes on every side of us ! 'Twas 
a great providence. We were only just in time to save ourselves from ruin!" 


Now, we have a basis for a policy such as I have 
been describing. There is, in the native man's moral 
constitution, a foundation for it, For, first, your petty 
tribes, to use a country phrase, would " kiss your feet," 
if you will give them protection from the raids of their 
more powerful, but lawless neighbours. The great felt 
need, and a great object of desire among our native 
population, is peace, order, and protection. Nothing 
do they crave more ardently than to be saved from the 
assaults and ravages of the mightier chiefs around them ; 
and to be allowed constant facilities for trading. It was 
this great need, which, before the " Congo inundation," 
caused so many of the natives, fragments of larger 
tribes, the Deys, Veys, and Bassas, to leave their own 
localities, and settle on the lands of the St. Paul's 
farmers. They craved peace and security; and they 
felt that here, under our laws and magistracy it could 
be secured in larger measure than anywhere else, in our 

But a second, and a further basis for this policy is the 
trading propensity of the native. Greed is his master 
passion ; as strong a characteristic as his superstition. 
See these native men, Pessas, Veys, Hurrahs, Ghibees, 
Mandingoes, bent and laden with palm oil, camwood, 
ivory, and rice on their backs; ending, perhaps, a 
twenty days' journey through the " bush," at the door 
of a " factory" or a traders' store. See therein that 
strong acquisitive principle, which is the impelling mo- 
tive power of all this endurance and weariness ; and 
recognize it as the germ, around which ultimately are 



to be gathered the accretions and the policy of as grand 
mercantile measures as the world has seen, in any of its 
quarters its palmiest days of commerce. 

Let the government and people of Liberia seize upon 
and use this central principle of the native mind, as an 
instrument and facility for the promotion of its rule, 
general civilization, and the propagation of the Faith. 
And this is to be done by the measures and the plans 
which will open trade to the far interior. Regulate 
your own tribes ; interest them in your government ; 
give them peace and protection ; afford them facilities 
for the gratification of their strong greed ; tie them by 
the strong cords of amity, education, and respect to 
your government; and your fame will spread hundreds 
of miles in the interior; and powerful kings, remote 
from the sea, will soon be visiting your capitol, bringing 
their sons for training and culture; and seeking the 
acquaintance of your merchants, for the purpose of 
commercial intercourse. 

And still a third, and further advantage will follow. 
Everybody knows the pride of the native man in speak- 
ing English. Now, just in proportion as we draw 
nigher to our country-folk by trading operations, so 
will native youth come and dwell with us, to learn our 
language and our customs ; and thus the supply of 
labour will be fully met. 

The bearing of this event upon population is im- 
portant. During the last six or seven 'years the great 
demand of the nation has been for emigration — for an 
increase of civilized power in the land. And the usual 


tendency with us is to ascend the hill of Monrovia, and 
to look across the sea to sight, if possible, the emigrant 
vessel, crowded with passengers. I do not blame this 
tendency. I am glad to see new men coming into this 
country, and thus increasing the Christian and civilizing 
power of the land. I cannot tell you the joy and grati- 
tude with which I would hail the providence which 
would give us, this very year, twenty thousand men, of 
the African race, as an accession to our scanty popula- 
tion ; if they could be well sustained and established 

For myself, I as cordially welcome Barbadians, Jamai- 
cans, Sierra-Leonians, as well as Americans, to this 
common heritage of the Negro — as the Emigrant Com- 
missioners, at New York, greet the Germans, Italians, 
Swedes, English, and Irish, who arrive at that port by 
hundreds of thousands; and thus, every year, swell 
the already vast population of the great Republic of 

At the same time, we must not forget that we have a 
multitudinous immigrant population here at hand, in- 
digenous to the soil ; homogenous in race and blood ; 
a people "to the manner born;" fitted to all the needs 
of this infant state ; wanting only in the elements of 
civilization, and the training of the Christian life. It is 
our duty to supply this deficiency. We were sent here, 
in God's providence, to stimulate, by government rule, 
by law, by example, and by teaching, the dormant ener- 
gies and the latent capacities of this uncivilized popula- 
tion, and, by gradual steps and processes, guide them 


up to the higher levels of improvement and civilization. 

Of their capability of reaching to any of the heights 
of superiority, we have attained, no man here can doubt, 
who looks at the superior men, clergymen, doctors, 
merchants, councilors — native men — who have risen to 
a position at Sierra-Leone. We see every day, even in 
a state of simplicity, their ma-witest physical superiority ; 
and all our intercourse with them, as chiefs or traders, 
discovers to us, an acuteness, penetration, and mental 
power, which assures us all of the presence here of an 
acumen, now rude, latent, and mostly hidden, but which 
needs only to be brought out and cultivated to evidence 
power and capacity. 

An English Minister, not long since, declared that 
it was the interest of Great Britain to train the West 
African people " in the arts of civilization and govern- 
ment, until they shall grow into a nation capable 
of protecting themselves and of managing their own 

Surely if Earl Grey, a man of a different race, felt 
this sense of obligation, what a shame will it not be to 
us, a people of Negro blood, if we come back here to 
the land of our ancestors, and seat ourselves here, amid 
a needy people, kindred in race and blood, and at once, 
in the pride of our accidental superiority, eschew obli- 
gation and responsibility. Such a course as this will 
surely be to sow the seeds of disaster and ruin, right 
amidst the most glowing prosperity ; to wrap up the 
germs of retribution in the brilliant folds of a seeming 



No, fellow citizens, whether willing or unwilling, 
whether from necessity or at the urgent call of Christian 
duty, we must educate and elevate our native popula- 
tion. Here we are a " feeble folk," in the midst of their 
multitudes. If we neglect them, then the}' will surely 
drag us down to their rude condition and their deadly 
superstitions ; and our children at some future day, 
will have cast aside the habiliments of civilized life, and 
lost the fine harmonies and the grand thoughts of the 
English tongue. We must undertake the moulding and 
fashioning of this fine material of native mind and char- 
acter; and, by the arts of Christian training and civil- 
ized life, raise up on the soil a new population for the 
work of the nation — a virginal civilization ready to 
start, with- elastic vigour, on the noble race for supe- 
riority, and to achieve the conquest of the continent 
for Christ and His Church. 

Fellow Citizens — I have spoken to-day with the 
greatest freedom, in setting forth the conviction of that 
new school of opinion which has arisen in Liberia, 
which cries out for justice and duty to Africa. I have 
taken it for granted that you were brave men and 
women enough to hear the plain truth, without offence 
or hesitancy. I deem it a duty that we should talk 
with all candour and simplicity concerning our national 
affairs ; eschewing all flattery and " mutual admiration." 
For it is with a nation as with a child. If you cannot 
tell a youth his faults, without his flying into a passion, 
there is no hope for him. So, likewise, if a people 
must always be petted and flattered, and made to 


believe they are the greatest nation in existence ; and 
cannot bear a plain account of their weaknesses and 
deficiencies, their case is hopeless. England is one of 
the oldest and greatest of European nations ; and yet 
there is no people on the earth who so continually find 
fault with themselves as the English. " They grumble," 
says an English prelate, " about everything. But then, 
when they grumble, they go to work to correct the 
thing they complain of." And this is the secret of their 
great power, their constant improvement, their mar- 
velous growth. 

And it is this, their constant dissatisfaction with an 
imperfect state and their aim after an ideal perfection, 
which gives them that quality which we are yet to 
attain, namely prescience — the disposition to work for 
the future. We have but little of it in Liberia, in church 
or state. Everything is for the present. But this is 
the reverse of both the noble and the natural ; opposed 
to the divine instinct of our being. 

" Man's heart the Almighty to the future set 
By secret and inviolable springs." 

And we must strive to rise to the higher measurement 
of our being and our duty. 

Fellow Citizens — there are grand epochs in the history 
of races and of men, full of the sublimest import. Such, 
I verily believe, is the period in which we are living. 
The great activities of commerce and of trade; the 
doubts and questionings of science, geography, and ad- 
venturous travel; the intensities of generous hope ; the 
brotherly yearnings of Christian desire, seem all con- 


verging, in this our day, towards the continent of Africa. 
We are approaching, if, indeed, we are not now well- 
nigh, the latter days of the world, and the work of the 
Lord has still one grand complement to the fullness of 
its mission — that is, the regeneration of Africa. To a 
large participation in this work, we, the citizens of 
this republic, are most surely called ; and the arduous- 
ness and burden of this calling, painful as indeed they 
are, are utterly insignificant, when compared with the 
grandeur of the duties involved, and the majesty of the 
consummation aimed at. It is our privilege to engage 
in this magnificent work, and to participate in the moral 
glories which will follow the redemption of a continent. 
The work will surely be done even if we neglect our 
duties. But sad and shameful will it be if we blindly 
miss one of the grandest opportunities human history 
has ever afforded for moral achievement and the blessed- 
ness of man. Other races of men have had such oppor- 
tunities and nobly met them. This is the time of the 
Negro ! 

And, as there are important periods in the history of 
man, so, likewise, are there fit men, who always start 
up in the nick of time, with that breadth of mind, that 
largeness of soul, and that heroic nobleness of purpose, 
which show that they are equal to their opportunities, 
and prepared to work with men, with angels, and with 
God, for the highest good of earth and for the Divine 
glory. Here, on this coast of Africa, is this grand 
opportunity, given of God, to men of the African race. 
May we have resolution, strength, and manliness enough 


so to bear ourselves that the future records of our day- 
may bear witness to our high public spirit, or solemn 
sense of duty, our thrift, our energy, our love of race, 
our patriotism, and our fear of God. 

For such high performance our faculties alone are 
incomplete. We need, for these grand ends, not only 
the genius of men, but the quickening influences and 
the grand suggestions of superior powers. And I in- 
voke upon this Republic the succours and assistances 
of that awful but beneficent Being, who rules the desti- 
nies of nations, to give wisdom to our rulers ; to dispose 
this people to the habits of industry, sobriety, and per- 
severance; to guide the nation in the ways of peace, 
prosperity, and abounding blessedness ; to the glory of 
His own Name, and for the restoration of a Continent ! 

Eulogium on the Life and 
Character of Thomas Clarkson, Esq. 

of England. 

New York, December 26th, 1846, 


THIS funeral observance, melancholy as it is in its 
significance, has yet its softening aspects. Mournful 
as are the associations connected with the event which 
excites our regrets, yet there are many and peculiar 
solaces. For distressing as it is to behold the benig- 
nant sons of freedom sink, one after another, below the 
horizon, there is alleviation in the thought, that there 
were many who rejoiced in the full-orbed glory of their 
open day; and now that they have receded from our 
skies, the light they have left behind does not stream 
upon this generation unappreciated and disregarded. 
It has not always been even thus. It is but recently 
that the holy and the good have been able to command 
deserved attention. The world has been rolling on six 
thousand years in its course ; and now, in these latter 
days, the Philanthropist is just beginning to obtain the 
regard and honor he so richly merits. During this 
long period, mankind absorbed in trifling and fruitless 
anxieties, have passed by, and neglected, the great 
good men of earth. The record of the past of human 
history, is a memorial of this shameful fact ; true, with 


but few exceptions, equally and alike, of nearly all 
nations, in all periods of time. 

The fragments snatched from the almost barren past 
of Egyptian history, relate chiefly to the murderous 
exploits of, a Sesostris or a Shiskah ; and the remains 
of its high and unequalled art are the obelisks and the 
urns, commemorative of bloody conquerors — or the 
frowning pyramids, upon whose walls are the hiero- 
glyphic representations of War, Conquest and Slavery. 
The annals of Greece and Rome are but slightly varied 
in their aspects, and their teachings. They favor us 
with but few of the features of the worthy and the 
good. They do indeed reveal some slight touches of a 
slowly rising civilization ; but restrained ever by the 
tightened grasp of a cold-hearted heathenism. Their 
largest spaces are devoted to the exploits of infirm and 
furious deities, or else to the memories of men chiefly 
distinguished by the brutality of animal passions. And 
the literature they have transmitted to our day, is 
chiefly the gorgeous representation of sanguinary deeds, 
dressed up in the glowing imagery of master poets ; or 
else the fulminations of passionate men, exciting, by 
wondrous oratory, to scenes of strife and vengeance. 
And this is the general coloring of history. In the 
past, its more numerous pages are given to the names 
and exploits of such men as Caesar, Hannibal, Alex- 
ander, and Tamerlane : and in times nearer to our own 
day we find it thus. The records of the middle ages 
are mostly narratives of Crusaders and Troubadours. 
And in our own immediate era, Marlborough and 


Gustavus, Napoleon and Nelson, and Wellington, have 
attracted as much notice and admiration as any of their 
contemporaries in the quieter walks of civil life, how- 
ever distinguished for talent or for genius. 

All this, however, pertains mostly to the past of 
human history. We have advanced to a different era 
and have reached a more open day. War, conquest, 
and valor have no longer their own way entirely, nor 
pursue, unmolested, their own career. The mind of 
this age is not wholly absorbed in the sanguinary and 
the warlike. Moral, benevolent, and Christian charac- 
teristics begin to attract attention. The dazzling scin- 
tillations of the Chieftain or the War-god, are now 
decidedly eclipsed by the steady and enduring lustre of 
the Moralist, the Friend of Man, the Christian or the 
adventurous Missionary. The gods of this world are 
fast losing rank. 

" From their spheres 

The stars of human glory are cast down." 

Higher, nobler, and worthier objects are now receiv- 
ing human admiration. The tribute of the Poet's lays, 
or the Orator's lofty periods, are as freely given to the 
Philanthropist, as heretofore they were bestowed upon 
the hero and the conqueror. Art, Poetry, and Elo- 
quence are his willing votaries to speak his praise. 

" Th' Historic Muse 

Proud of the treasure, marches with it down 
To latest times; and Sculpture in her turn 
Gives bond in stone and ever-enduring brass 
To guard them, and t'immortalize her trust." 


Such being the change in the world's morals and the 
world's sentiments, it is by no means extraordinary, 
but natural and befitting, that we have assembled here 
this evening to commemorate distinguished worth and 
eminent moral character. 

Thomas Clarkson, to whose honor and memory 
we have gathered together to. render our tribute of 
respect and gratitude,. was an Englishman. More than 
this, and of higher import, he was a Christian and a 
Philanthropist. The chief activity of his long life was 
given to zealous endeavour, to demolish the statutes 
which legalized and sanctioned the trade in African 
slaves, and affix upon it the brand and reprobation of 
piracy. This was the object of his life. This was his 
mission : — and he succeeded in it. To him, more than 
any of the Philanthropists of that great land, or at 
least, as much as any of them, belongs the endless 
glory and renown, of having displaced a monstrous 
villainy from beside the common honest pursuits of 
commercial enterprise, and classifying it with those 
high crimes and misdemeanors, alike the reprobation 
of Christian and of heathen morality. 

Of the earlier portions of Mr. Clarkson's life we have 
but little acquaintance, or of the more minute details 
of his private and domestic character. Having so 
lately deceased, no definite nor minute biography has, 
as yet, reached our shores, to furnish us with such 
information. Fragments only of his boyhood and his 
youth are in our possession. We see him first upon 
the stage of action in early manhood, when the exuber- 


ance of his youthful spirit having passed away, he was 
ripening into the firmness and the strength of a fresh 
and vigorous . manhood ; and thence rose above the 
horizon, struggling ever and anon with the clouds which 
would fain obscure his brightness, or the storms which 
would hinder his progress ; yet emerging from them 
all clear, distinct, and luminous, until at fast he sinks to 
repose, as the sun declines at eventide, amid the bright- 
ness and the luxuriance of an autumn sunset. 

Bare, however, as are the known incidents of his 
early days, we shall , briefly narrate them. Thomas 
Clarkson was the son of a gentleman who held the situ- 
ation of master in a free grammar school. He was 
born on the 30th of March, 1 760, at Wisbeach, in Cam- 
bridgeshire. The first rudiments of his education he 
obtained from his father. From his charge he passed 
to Cambridge University, where he completed his pupil- 
age and gained distinction. 

The incidents compressed in the few paragraphs thus 
recited, cover a period of twenty-four years. How 
much of maternal solicitude and prayerfulness, of 
fatherly care and watchfulness, on the one hand, and 
then of boyish thoughtfulness and rectitude, of earnest 
strivings against sin, of noble aspirations after truth, 
godliness, and grace, of youthful purity and determina- 
tion, and, at last, of moral decisiveness and spiritual 
purpose, was included in this period, is hidden from 
our sight. It must have been most rarely characterized 
however, by all the genial influences of a pious parent- 
age, of virtuous instructors, of a chaste and upright 


youth, and of the Divine Benignity, to have resulted in 
a manhood so firm and lofty, and a maturity so serene 
and majestic. An enervated youth rarely produces a 
vigorous manhood. When the dawn of an individual's 
existence is overcast by the clouds of error and im- 
purity, we may not expect to see its evening twilight, 
clear, undisturbed, and beauteous. But when youthful 
rectitude and honor rise up before us, we may antici- 
pate a clear, open manhood, and a green and honored 
old age : 

" This morning gives us promise of a glorious day." 

Thus, rnost probably, in purity and goodness, the 
youthful CLARKSON trod the flowery pathways and the 
pleasant groves of Art, Literature, Science and Religion. 

He had now nearly reached his twenty-fifth year. 
This is a remarkable period in any man's life. The 
previous stages of our short pilgrimage are spent in 
preparation, (whether mercantile, mechanical, or liter- 
ary,) for the duties and responsibilities of life : but at 
this period, the burdens of individual care are entered 
upon; personal responsibility is assumed; self-depend- 
ence becomes a consciousness, and we launch out from 
the shelter of parental control, and enter, self-reliant, 
amid the scenes and responsibilities of actual life. 

The ingenuous youth passing from the vale of obscu- 
rity up to the elevations of early manhood, can look 
abroad thence upon the various avenues of adventure 
which branch out in every direction through life, and 
make his own selection of the path he will choose for 

EULOGIUM. • 207 

his course through life. And felicitous in the extreme 
is that man's lot, whose vision has not been obscured 
by premature indiscretions ; or his, who blinds not the 
light vouchsafed him from on high ; or his, who shuns 
the windings and confusion of infidelity and error, not 
deeming that — 

" light which leads astray 

Is light from heaven; " 

or his, who has the advantage of distinguished ances- 
tors, treading the golden ways of right and duty, to 
guide his feet ; or the man who is blessed with distinct 
and undoubted providences, falling like stars from 
heaven, to illumine his skies and make clear the road 
of life. 

In Mr. Clarkson's case, with the union of all these 
fortunate circumstances, there seems to have been par- 
ticularly the last. If the providences of God may be 
regarded as an intimation of His will, it may not be 
presumptuous to declare our belief in the Divine assist- 
ance granted him, to decide the path which duty called 
him to pursue— in leading the current of his mind in 
that direction which it took — to make that election and 
form that decision which was the augur of such noble 
events, and the parent of such enlarged gifts. The 
belief in such high guidance, is suggested by a refer- 
ence to incidental occurrences of his life, at this period. 

I said that Mr. Clarkson was a member of Cambridge 
University, an institution which has for centuries been 
celebrated for the contributions it has made to science 
and learning, and for the distinguished men who have 


received therein the discipline of education, and the 
advantages that tend to develop character, create high 
scholarship, and stimulate to high and lofty endeavor. 
Many of the greatest minds of England were trained 
and nurtured under her fostering care and lofty erudi- 
tion. On the catalogue which registers her world- 
renowned sons, are inscribed the names of such men 
as Bacon, Milton, Cudworth, Barrow, Henry 
Moore, and Newton. Her contributions to the cause 
of piety, religious reformation, philanthropy, and free- 
dom, have not been less distinguished. Perhaps no 
seat of learning in the world has done more, for human 
liberty and human well-being, than this institution. Of 
this no better evidence need be given than the presen- 
tation of the names of Latimer, Cranmer, George 
Herbert, Ridley, Wilberforce, and Clarkson. 

In the year 1784, Dr. Peckherd, a distinguished 
divine of the Church of England, was appointed to the 
Mastership of Magdalen College, in the University of 
Cambridge. This gentleman had been noted in his 
earlier life by able treatises in theology, and by his 
strong advocacy of the cause of civil and religious 
liberty. In the dignity of his official station he did not 
forget the noble themes, which had animated his youth- 
ful bosom and enlisted his youthful energies. Accord- 
ingly, when called upon to preach before the Univer- 
sity, he choose his favorite topic, "Human Liberty and 
the Rights of Man." In this discourse he introduced 
some animadversions upon the Slave Trade, and de- 
nounced it in terms at once distinct, nervous, and 


emphatic. But his testimony, though given before a 
learned and religious body, did not satisfy the yearning 
spirit of this humane and large-hearted Divine. He 
was anxious to do yet more for the suffering victims of 
avarice and oppression. In the year 1785, being then 
Vice Chancellor of the University, he made use of 
another opportunity to demonstrate his repugnance to 
Slavery, and his steadfast adherence to the cause of 
Freedom. It devolved upon him, in virtue of his office, 
to announce two subjects for Latin dissertations — one 
to the middle Bachelors of Arts, and the other to the 
senior. The writers of the two best essays were to 
receive the prizes. To the senior Bachelors the theme 
proposed was — "Is it right to make slaves of others 
against their will." 

In the year preceding this, Mr. Clarkson had gained 
a prize for writing the best Latin Dissertation. In 
order to retain his reputation in the eye of the Univer- 
sity, it became him, then, if possible, to bear off again 
the palm of victory. To do so it was necessary that 
he should produce the best Essay upon this Anti- 
Slavery theme. 

Here let us pause. Around this green spot let us 
linger. It is full of the most inspiring influences. A 
heart now is to be tuned to the softest music of hu- 
manity. A soul is about being mastered by the loftiest 
suggestions of benevolence and love. A mind is filled 
with a noble object; and its strong currents are hence- 
forth to run in unison with the benignant stream of 
truth and Christian duty. What a crowd of thoughts 


and suggestions throng and gather around such an 
event as this, — an event destined to a lasting record 
among the treasures of History, and invested with all 
the "mellowing hues" that cluster around touching 
incident and association ! 

Mr. Clarkson addressed himself to this effort with all 
the zeal and ardor incited by a remembrance of his 
lately gained honor, and all the ambition of a youthful 
mind, anxious to prove itself worthy of a high position. 
With the subject itself he had almost no acquaintance. 
This was the first distinct presentation of it to his 
thought. Thus, a complete novice, he commenced the 
mastering of this important subject. Mr. Clarkson 
tells that with the idea of literary honor in his mind, he 
expected much satisfaction from the arrangement and 
prosecution of his plan. This was the work of the 
head. But the subject now opened upon him. As he 
advanced, new ideas and suggestions were presented to 
his consideration, new scenes to his fancy, wondrous 
and unheard of distresses to his imagination. Such 
tales of rapine and carnage, had never, even in report, 
come to his knowledge. Such pictures of agony and 
woe had never met his vision. A whole continent lay 
before him, eclipsed and benighted by the malignant 
orbs of Slaughter and Murder. Shrieks, wails and 
moanings, the clank of chains, the sounds of flagella- 
tion, and the utterances of despair, were wafted to his 
ears. Bolts, fetters, brands and shackles, dark prison 
holes, and the gloomy dungeons of "perfidious barks," 
were the objects that flitted before his sight. The 


student's ambition melted before these realities ; and 
the visions of pride and emulation, faded gradu ally- 
away. His heart began to be interested as well as his 
head tasked* The recital of all the various scenes of 
suffering, outrage, and agony inflicted upon the poor 
victims of cruelty and avarice, opened the avenues of 
sympathy and commiseration, which flowing unim- 
peded in their natural channels, neutralized the force of 
scholastic aspiration and of literary pride. 

I have no language by which to express, adequately, 
the intense and painful interest, excited by this subject, 
in Mr. Clarkson's mind. 

His own words are fittest to describe such a state of 
feeling, bordering on agony. "No person," says he, 
" can tell the severe trial which the writing of it proved 
to me. I had expected pleasure from the invention of 
the arguments, from the arrangement of them, from 
putting them together, and from thought in the interim, 
that I was engage f d in an innocent contest for literary 
honor. But all my pleasure was dampened by the 
facts which were now continually before me. It was 
but one gloomy subject from morning to night. In the 
day time, I was uneasy. In the night, I had little rest. 
I sometimes never closed my eye-lids for grief. It 
became now, not so much a trial for academical repu- 
tation, as for the production of a work which might be 
useful to injured Africa. And keeping this in my 
mind ever after the perusal of Benezet, I always slept 
with a candle in my room that I might rise out of bed, 
and put down such thoughts as might occur to me in 


the night, if I judged them valuable ; conceiving that 
no arguments of any moment should be lost in so great 
a cause." 

Thus was the ambitious student transformed into the 
humane philanthropist; and under the influence of such 
feelings, coloring a mind naturally sensitive and active, 
Mr. Clarkson composed his Essay: and the result was 
as might be anticipated. He demonstrated his masterly 
ability, and was again honored with the first prize. 

This issue of this effort, was not the issue of the 
question which had stirred every noble feeling and 
every generous sentiment of his soul. The whole man 
was aroused with an agitation, which pervaded every 
element of his being. His entire thought was absorbed 
in this momentous subject. The whole current of ex- 
istence now ran in this direction. The consideration of 
this topic, the harrowing tales it presented of crime, 
blood and rapine, had given to his mind a proclivity, 
which the ordinary concerns of scholastic life, or, the 
high expectations of a growing professional career 
could not turn aside. The hand of destiny was upon 
him and he could not turn it aside/ 

The manner in which he was now being directed by 
the finger of Providence, is best pointed out in Mr. 
Clarkson's own narrative. As a successful candidate 
he had to read his Essay in the Senate House of the 
University, soon after the adjudging of the prizes. 
"On returning however to London," he remarks, "the 
subject of it (his Essay) almost wholly engrossed my 
thoughts. I became at times very seriously affected 


while upon the road. I stopped my horse occasionally 
and dismounted and walked. I frequently tried to per- 
suade myself in these intervals, that the contents of my 
Essay could not be true. The more, however, I re- 
flected upon them, or rather upon the authorities on 
which they were founded, the more I gave them credit. 
Coming in' sight of Wade's Mill in Hertfordshire, I sat 
down disconsolate on the turf by the road-side, and 
held my horse. Here a thought came into my mind, 
that if the contents of the Essay were true, it was time 
some person should see these calamities to their end. 
Agitated in this manner I reached my house. This 
was in the summer of 1785." 

The purpose thus hinted at, he kept brooding over, 
until it became a conviction of duty. He determined 
to translate his Latin Dissertation upon the slave trade, 
and publish it to the world. This he commenced in 
November, 1785, availing himself during the interval of 
all additional facts and illustrations, adapted to enrich 
and strengthen his argument. 

Meanwhile he sought a publisher : and here he met 
with difficulty. This however served a good end, in 
that he was brought into acquaintance with several 
members of the Society of Friends, already deeply inter- 
ested in the Slavery question, who desired the publica- 
tion of his Essay and who were even then seeking him 
out. Most fortunate conjunction of circumstances ! 

Of these individuals one was James Philips, a Book- 
seller, to whom he offered the publication of his work. 
Another was William Dillwyn. From him he obtained 


rare and valuable information concerning the Slave 
Trade in all its details, and the state of Anti-Slavery 
feeling in the United Kingdom. " How surprised was 
I," says Mr. Clarkson, " to hear, in the course of conver- 
sation of the labors of Granville Sharp ; of the writings 
of Ramsey; and of the controversy in which the latter 
was engaged, of all which I had hitherto known nothing ! 
How surprised was I to learn that William Dillwyn had, 
two years before, associated himself with five others for 
the purpose of enlightening the public mind upon this 
great subject ! How astonished was I to find that a 
society had been formed in America for the same ob- 
ject, with some of the principal members of which he 
was intimately acquainted ! And how still more aston- 
ished at the inference which instantly rushed upon my 
mind, that he was capable of being made the great me- 
dium of connection between them all. These thoughts 
overpowered me. My mind was overwhelmed with the 
thought, that I had been providentially directed to his 
house; that the finger of Providence was beginning to 
be discerned ; that the day-star of African liberty was 
rising, and that probably I might be permitted to be- 
come an humble instrument in promoting it." 

In the month of June 1786 his Essay, translated into 
English, was published in London, under the title of 
" An Essay on the slavery and commerce of the Human 
species, particularly the Africans," by the Rev. THOMAS 

Mr. Clarkson immediately commenced the circulation 
of his Essay. For this purpose he sought the acquaint- 


ance of distinguished personages, who would be able, 
alike from position and name, to render him assistance. 
Among these in particular may be mentioned Sir 
Charles 'Middleton and his Lady ; Dr. Baker, a divine 
of the Church of England; and Mr. Bennet Langton, a 
man of learning, and also the friend and associate of 
Dr. Johnson, Burke, and most of the wits of that day. 

His Essay created much excitement and was read 
with avidity. 

The publication of it, however, did not yield Mr. 
Clarkson that entire composedness of mind that he an- 
ticipated. The general excitement which had been 
started by it, he himself could not resist, which added 
to the deep sensation he had already experienced while 
investigating it. And thus gradually he was drawn 
further and further in interest in this cause, almost to 
identification therewith. 

On a visit once to Sir Charles Middleton, Mr. Clark- 
son, carried away by intensity of humane feeling, uttered 
the spontaneous declaration — " I am ready to devote 
myself to the cause." But after he had thus declared 
"himself, .he partially repented. A thought of the diffi- 
culties he should have to encounter as its champion — 
the magnitude of the undertaking, the sacrifices it would 
demand of him, startled and perplexed him. 

Says he, " I had been designed for the Church ; I 
had already advanced as far as Deacon's orders in it; 
my prospects there, on account of my connections, 
were brilliant — and that by appearing to desert my pro- 
fession, my family would be dissatisfied^ if not unhappy. 


These thoughts pressed upon me and rendered the con- 
flict difficult. But the sacrifice of my prospects stag- 
gered me I own the most. I had ambition — I had a 
thirst after worldly interests and honors, and I could 
not extinguish it at once." 

This inward agitation, however, decided the course of 
his life. He devoted himself heartily and unreservedly 
to the cause of Abolition. I quote his own words : — 
" At length I yielded — not because I saw any reason- 
able prospect of success in my new undertaking, but in 
obedience I believe, to a higher power;" and to this 
cause he immediately addressed himself with unusual 
zeal and with decided purpose. 

And now before pursuing further the life of this dis- 
tinguished Philanthropist, let me advert here to the 
exact position of the Anti-Slavery cause at this time. 
A brief episode of this kind will enable us better to 
appreciate the services of our illustrious friend, and to 
comprehend the nature of his undertaking, and the 
greatness of his labors. 

The evils of Slavery and the horrors of the Slave 
Trade had not escaped the eye and thought of Europe. 
Various individuals during preceding centuries, marking 
its disgusting features, had declared their sentiments 
thereon by denouncing its iniquities. Indeed the whole 
subject had been brought home directly to the heart of 
the whole of Europe ; for the whole continent itself had 
felt its distressful visitation. 

We so often hear the institution of Slavery peculiarly 
associated with our afflicted race; and the curse of 


Ham, wrested from its proper significance, insidiously 
pointed at us ; that we have come almost to regard 
ourselves as the objects, specially consigned to its mis- 
eries, its degradation, and its wrongs. Not so, however. 
Among the various ills, which in consequence of the 
entrance of sin into the world, have flooded humanity — 
the wars, diseases, intemperance, impurity, poverty, 
idolatry and wretchedness, which have degraded the 
race ; none have been more general, none more deadly 
than slavery. No portion of the globe has been exempt 
from this curse. Every land on the face of the earth 
has been overshadowed by it. And where now we see 
the blooming fruits of art and civilization, and behold 
the giant tread of progress; there once were erected 
the shambles of the Slave-dealer, and there were seen 
the monuments of oppression. The whole western part 
of Europe was once in a state of abject vassalage. The 
system of Feudalism, with most degrading character- 
istics, is hardly yet entirely extirpated from some of its 
foremost nations. In Russia, millions of serfs, even 
now, in wretchedness and poverty, suffer the infliction 
of the knout, and are subject to irresponsible power 
and unrestrained tryanny. England herself, grand and 
mighty empire as she is, can easily trace back the 
historic foot-prints to the time, when even she was under 
the yoke. And the blood which beats high in her 
children's veins, and circles their hearts; is blood, 
which though flowing down to them through a noble 
lineage of many ages, that still, in its ancestral sources, 
was the blood of slaves ! 


And although Christianity had ameliorated the con- 
dition of the lowly poor, and stricken the chain from 
the vassal, yet she had not obliterated the memory of 
its ills, nor neutralized the natural repugnance to its 
abominations. And thus when Slavery was again pre- 
sented to the eye of Europe, distressing another class 
of victims, the warm heart of Europe was prompt and 
punctual with sympathy and brotherhood. 

This repugnance to slavery and the slave trade mani- 
fested itself on several occasions. 

At the commencement of the sixteenth century, after 
the slavery of Africans had been allowed in the Spanish 
settlements, we find one Cardinal Ximenes,"then holding 
the reigns of government, (previous to the accession of 
Charles the Fifth,) refusing his permission for the estab- 
lishment of a regular system of commerce, in the persons 
of Native Africans. When Charles came to power, he 
acted contrary to the course of the Cardinal. But by 
a good Providence he was afterward brought to see his 
error and to repent of it. In the year 1542, he made a 
code of laws, prohibiting the slave trade and emanci- 
pating all slaves in his dominions. 

About the same time, Leo 10th, the Pope of Rome, 
denounced the whole system, declaring "That not only 
the Christian religion, but that nature herself cried out 
against a state of slavery." 

In England, in 1 562, we find Queen Elizabeth anxious, 
lest the evils of the slave trade should be entailed upon 
Africa by any of her subjects, declaring that if any of 
them were carried off without their consent, " It would 


be detestable, and call down the vengeance of Heaven 
upon the undertakers." 

From this time, we find a continual testimony, ever 
and anon, borne against the system of slavery, by men 
of every profession and of every rank: — Milton ; 
Bishop Sanderson ; Rev. Morgan Godwyn, an epis- 
copal clergyman, who wrote the first work ever under- 
taken expressly for this cause ; Richard Baxter, the 
celebrated divine published upon it; Stelle; the 
Poet Thompson; Rev. Griffith Hughes, another 
Episcopal clergyman; SHENSTONE, the Essayist and 
Poet; Dr. HUYTER, Bishop of Norwich; STERNE; 
Bishop WARBURTON, author of the Divine Legation, 
who preached a sermon before the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel, in 1766, in which he scouts 
the idea of man holding property in rational creatures. 
The DISSENTERS of all names, especially the FRIENDS, 
distinguished themselves beyond all others, in their early 
interest in the cause, and their clear, earnest, and 
explicit disapprobation of it. Latterly, Granville 
Sharp, the Father of the more modern Abolitionists, 
appeared upon the stage. And to him belongs the 
distinguished honor of having brought about the glori- 
ous decision in the case of Somerset, which COWPER 
has rendered immortal in the noble lines : — 

"Slaves cannot breathe in England: if their lungs 
Receive our air, that moment they are free; 
They touch our country and their shackles fall." 

Thus it appears that some sensibility had been mani- 
fested in behalf of bleeding, suffering Africa. It was 


not, however, either universal in its prevalence, regular 
in its development, or definite in its aims and objects. 
It pervaded the wide space of centuries, but lacked 
clear and evident junctures, and determinate links. 

From this brief retrospect we may perceive the moral 
grandeur of Clarkson's position. He was the first who 
commenced a systematic, well-planned effort, for the 
destruction of this colossal iniquity. He stood up, and 
measured the broad proportions and the lofty height of 
this grand villainy ; and not content with the utterance 
of his condemnation thereof, he determined in the 
strength of God, no matter how deep laid might be its 
foundations, how lofty its altitude, nor how gigantic its 
form, that yet it should be uprooted and lay prostrate 
in the dust ! 

His determinations were not rash, his purposes not 
passionate, his zeal not lacking knowledge. On the 
other hand, he had arrived at his conclusions after much 
and painful deliberation, at the sacrifice of much ease, 
and by the shutting out from his sight the golden light 
of high expectations, which always have an unwonted 
glow in youthful eyes. And his knowledge of this sub- 
ject, though not as broad and comprehensive as it after- 
wards became, was yet sufficient to enable him to see 
the bloody abominations of the Slave Trade, and to 
settle within him the conviction that he was appointed 
an apostle " to proclaim liberty to the captives, and 
the opening of the prison to them that are bound." It 
was not the promptings of romantic feeling, nor the 
influence of inordinate ambition, but rather the sug- 


gestions of the Divine Spirit, and the pointings and 
directions of the clear, distinct providences of God. 

In the progress of his mission, Mr. Clarkson's ac- 
quaintance became more and more enlarged. Day 
after day he formed friendships with humane and benevo- 
lent individuals : thus creating a nucleus, around which 
might be gathered the moral force and sentiment of the 
kingdom. Statesmen and Lawyers, Bishops and Doctors 
of Divinity, Churchmen and Dissenters, Lords and 
Knights, yielded to the clearness of his reasoning, the 
justness of his representations, and the humanity of his 
purposes. A regular organization was decided upon, 
at once, to represent the philanthropy of England, and 
to direct the already growing anti-slavery sentiment of 
the country. On the 22d of May, 1787, a committee 
was formed, consisting of twelve members. Granville 
Sharpe was appointed Chairman, which office he held 
during the whole anti-slavery struggle. Of this com- 
mittee Mr. Clarkson was undoubtedly the grand moving 
spirit. While it is indeed true, that the whole com- 
mittee signalized themselves by unwonted and long- 
continued exertions, yet it is evident, and acknowledged, 
that Clarkson was the Prometheus of the cause; diffus- 
ing the burning warmth and vivid flame of his own in- 


tense zeal to the committee, from them to the country at 
large, and they back again to the lawgivers of the 

It was just about this time that he became acquainted 
with the afterwards celebrated WlLBERFORCE, just then, 
almost a youth, " rising above the horizon," and about 


starting into public life. Most happy meeting ! Most 
opportune acquaintance ! History has few pictures, 
romance few ideal scenes, more grateful or more glow- 
ing, than the meeting of these two youthful men, neither 
of them having attained the mid-day of their strength, 
conferring with each other for the destruction of a well- 
established system, existing under the sanction of the 
national legislature, and uncondemned by any class of 
England's community. Mr. Wilberforce joined Mr. 
Clarkson in his designs, and from that time they were 
leagued together in this holy cause. 

In May, 1788, the question of the abolition of the 
slave-trade was first introduced into the British Parlia- 
ment. It was not presented by Mr. Wilberforce him- 
self, owing to indisposition. The great WILLIAM PlTT 
has the honor of first bringing this important subject 
before the Commons of England. Immediately a most 
interesting discussion ensued upon it, bringing out the 
most masterly minds, and affording an opportunity for 
the gathering around the standard of freedom, the most 
distinguished talent, the loftiest piety, and the most 
commanding eloquence, of that or any other age of the 
world — Pitt, Fox, and Burke, the three greatest geniuses 
of the age, engaged in this debate, condemning the 
slave trade ; and thus, in the very infancy of the cause, 
honoring themselves and human nature, by proving true 
to its best and noblest dictates. 

Thus was the ice first broken. Thus were the dark 
clouds of a fearful night first pierced by the early rays 
of the opening morn of freedom. 


And now commenced the first great agitation of the 
elements. The opponents of liberty had hitherto rested 
in security, behind the entrenchments of law and statute, 
of trade and custom, and the sanction of wealth and 
luxury. This security had never, as yet, been disturbed 
by any of the demonstrations of anti-slavery sentiment. 
The sermons of Bishops, the vigorous essays of Lay- 
men, the harrowing recitals of returned West India 
Clergymen, the strains of Poetry, the bold, restless, and 
uncompromising zeal of the Dissenters, not even the 
vigorous and successful assaults upon the system by 
Granville Sharp, had, as yet, been able to disturb their 
equanimity. During the jp receding two years, in the 
midst of the absorbing interest and the deep sensation 
created by Mr. Clarkson's Essay and his labors, they 
seem'ed unmoved, and acted as though secure. But the 
earnestness and the assiduity of the anti-slavery men, 
at this time, aroused them. The possibility of not being 
allowed to retain, undisputed and undisturbed, all the 
•advantages they at present enjoyed, seemed at length 
presented to their minds. Now appeared to them the 
time to assume some position ; and they stood up in 
conscious strength and importance, folding about them 
the panoply of power, and gathering around them the 
myrmidons of trade, wealth, and luxury — determined 
to resist any attempts to put an end to this detestable 

The contest had commenced, and it was carried on 
with, vigor. Two great antagonistic principles \v2re 
placed in battle array, each with fixed, unyielding, 


determinate purpose. On one side was the great landed 
interest of England, the aristocracy, the West India 
planting power, and the aggregate of the mercantile in- 
fluence of the country. Indeed, there is hardly any 
interest in a great commercial empire like England, that 
did not feel the influence of this system, and was not 
subjected by it to a measurable degree of control. It 
entered into every ramification of society. It permeated 
every institution of the land. It wound itself round 
every establishment. It stretched out its long arms of 
power and authority to individuals of every rank and 
every sphere of life. I employ Mr. Clarkson's own de- 
scription, as the most accurate and distinct : " The slave 
trade," says he, " was not an interest of a few individ- 
uals, nor of one body, but of many bodies of men. It 
was interwoven into the system of the commerce and of 
the revenue of nations. Hence the merchant, the 
planter, the mortgagee, the manufacturer, the politician, 
the legislator, the cabinet minister, lifted up their voices 
against the annihilation." " Both the Lords and Com- 
mons of England were interested in West India plan- 
tations, and the Established Church was a sharer in 
their unholy gains.* It exerted a controlling influence 
upon individuals, from the king on his throne down to 
the peasant in his hut and the sailor on the shrouds"; 
and all classes, from the king down to the sailor and 
the peasant, were enlisted in its behalf, and stood up 
its defenders. 

* Progress and Results of Emancipation in the English West Indies, by John Jay, 


Such was the stern and formidable array which pre- 
sented itself in 1788, in maintenance and defence of the 
slave trade. 

On the other side were associated a few individuals, 
mostly unknown to fame, without power or patronage, 
without the advantage of noble connections or social 
advantages ; led on too by a young student *of twenty- 
five. It is true, there immediately rallied to their 
standard, men of distinguished name and most con- 
summate ability; Bishops, Statesmen, Divines, Poets, 
and Orators. But the connection between them and 
these was but slender. They stood mostly in the rela- 
tion of patrons. They were willing to give their approval 
of the cause whenever absolutely needed, and to lend 
their advocacy : but the labor and effort, the strife and 
the shock of fiery assault, were left to a few simple men — 
an humble committee — 

" Of unappendaged and unvarnished men, 
Of plain, unceremonious, human beings:" 

— men, though, well and largely endowed with intellect ; 
with brave hearts; of a lofty Christian faith; with 
sympathies deep and boundless as the sea ; with judg- 
ment remarkably clear ; with a foresight almost pro- 
phetic. What, however, they lacked in name, and 
fame, and power, and patronage, was made up in the 
possession of one simple element — TRUTH : an element 
more energetic than the elemental fires of earth ; more 
potent than the gravitating force of the universe ; vital, 
irrepressible, immortal, in its nature ; and filled too with 
the might of the right arm of God ! 


With this resistless and effective instrument they 
entered upon the contest for freedom. The chief 
scenes of this moral conflict were Parliament, and the 
arena of public sentiment and thought. In the former, 
Mr. Wilberforce was the leader of the Anti-Slavery 
cause. In the latter, Mr. Clarkson was the most active 
and conspicuous. The burden of obligation in this 
matter rested upon his shoulders ; and he proved him- 
self equal to it. The labor required was to obtain 
evidence, and diffuse it throughout the land; to or- 
ganize Anti-Slavery Societies ; and to obtain petitions 
from every quarter. In all this he labored most assid- 
uously. An exhibition of such untiring devotion, of 
such unwearied patience and such herculean labor, 
the cause of philanthropy and religion has seldom 
witnessed. He worked like an Apostle. He traveled 
in every direction. No quarter of the kingdom where 
information could be obtained, was passed by. No 
place where influence could be exerted, was neglected. 
Every individual whose witness was important, was 
sought out. Every slave-hold, where entrance could 
be obtained, was examined. Throughout each year, 
three months, at least, were spent traversing the king- 
dom, seeking that great body of evidence — itself a 
monument of his ability and industry — demanded by 
the Privy Council ; which proved of so much service, 
in demonstrating the enormity of the Slave Trade, in 
augmenting the number of petitions, and in the end of 
demolishing the system itself. On one occasion, ere 
he relinquished the clerical character, he preached a 

EULOGIUM. " 227 

sermon in Manchester, selecting for his text Exodus 
xxxiii. 9th: — "Thou shalt not oppress a stranger, 
for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt:" from 
which he proved that slavery was at variance with 
Scripture. So eminent were the labors of Mr. Clarkson, 
and so evident the fruits of his zeal, that the Anti- 
Slavery Committee in their first report, published 15th 
of January, 1788, made a spontaneous acknowledg- 
ment of their indebtedness to his zeal and effort: — 
"To the abilities and unremitting industry of the Rev. 
Thomas Clarkson, in these researches, the Society are 
much indebted." 

We have already referred to the introduction of this 
question into the British Parliament. On the 12th of 
May, 1789, Mr. Wilberforce brought forward his cel- 
ebrated motion in relation to the Slave Trade, accom- 
panied by a speech, which, judging by encomiums 
passed upon it by the great orators of the day, by the 
press, and by the Anti-Slavery Committee, must have 
been of unsurpassed ability. The friends of freedom 
were met this time, with the determined opposition of 
the West India party and the slave-trading interest, 
now determined to front the Abolition cause, with a 
fixed and obstinate resistance. Objections drawn from 
political economy, objections suggested by trade, objec- 
tions started by avarice, objections originated in the 
pride of race, and drawn from the imputed inferiority 
of the Negro, were brought forward to demonstrate 
the necessity and the rightfulness of this traffic, and to 
prevent its abolition. They questioned and denied the 


evidence produced by the Abolitionists ; they main- 
tained absolutely the humanity and kindness of the 
Slave Trade ; they extenuated the imputed horrors of 
the mid-passage; they contended for the peculiar 
adaptedness of slavery to the welfare of the Negro race ; 
they strove to show how beneficial the whole system 
would be to Africa, in developing her resources and in 
civilizing her sons. No possible argument that sophis- 
try could suggest, from political economy, from science, 
from benevolence itself, was left untried. The sanctions 
of religion, even, were attempted to be appropriated : 
they — 

" Tortured the pages of the hallowed Bible 
To sanction crime and robbery and blood ! " 

The opposition to the Abolitionists was carried to the 
extreme of personal rancor and malignity. They were 
marked men everywhere. The most opprobrious epi- 
thets were heaped upon them. No circumspection and 
disinterestedness, no prudence and candor, no integrity 
and unselfishness on their part, were capable of shield- 
ing them from the venomed shafts of calumny and 
detraction. For notwithstanding the purity of their 
lives, and the obvious humanity of their purposes, 
their characters were calumniated and their motives 

The opposition manifested against Christian Reform- 
ers is a necessary and inevitable event. In a world like 
this, it is an utter impossibility to advocate the Right; 
to vindicate Truth; to uphold Principle; to walk 
steadfastly in the pathway of Duty, and to disseminate 


those glorious ideas, in which consist the excellence 
and dignity of our being, without exciting opposition, 
and bringing down upon us the repugnance and the 
wrath of wicked and selfish men. Who ever heard of 
wicked men being enamored of Truth, or of the corrupt 
and evil minded being smitten and subdued, by the 
benign features, and the lovely proportions of Virtue 
and Goodness? To the pure only is purity desirable, 
and the upright alone are they who affect truth and 
reverence principle. Hence the pathway of the Chris- 
tian Reformer, which should be bestrewn with flowers 
and garlands, inasmuch as he is a celestial visitant from 
heaven, the vicegerent of God on earth ; is covered 
with briars and intercepted with thorns. And this 
result is not conditioned on aught in themselves. It is 
not a contingent of place or person or position. It is 
a natural and legitimate event, with its proper anteced- 
ents. It is inevitable. We ofttimes hear it said that 
this apostle of truth is too 'harsh and the other, too 
vindictive. This one is infidel, and that one speculative. 
This one too hasty, and the other injudicious ; and 
therefore in consequence of one or the other of these 
causes, the ebullition of over-strained passion against 
them, and of vindictive feeling. The rationale of the 
whole matter lies far back of any of these mere specu- 
lations, and is far more radical. If opinions such as 
these accounted for the Reformer's trial; why is it that 
they have ever beset him, from the time of the Holy 
Prophets, the noble vindicators of truth in ancient 
times, down to the immaculate Jesus, sent from heaven 


with the signet of divinity on his brow, and speaking 
as never man before or since hath spoken? And why 
hath it ever since then been thus, from the time of Jesus 
to the present? Have all Reformers been rash, and 
hasty, injudicious and fanatical? These too — Patri- 
archs and Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs and Confessors, 
and the blessed Lord of Life whose name is Love? 
One Reformer is bold and earnest, another is mild and 
gentle. One is determined and venturesome ; another 
is soft, quiet and persuasive. This one is severe and 
denunciatory ; that one lofty, serene and majestic ; and 
the third meek and lovely: — men of different disposi- 
tions, and varied qualities of mind and temper ; yet all, 
equally and alike, exposed to dangers and obnoxious 
to evil tempers and malignant assaults. The saintly, 
almost angelic Elijah, the evangelical Isaiah, the faith- 
ful Daniel, the heroic Paul, the seraphic John, the bold 
and dauntless Luther, the quiet Melancthon, the yield- 
ing Cranmer, the august and saintly Wilberforce ! 

The Reformer's trials originate in the bitter and 
malignant opposition of the monstrous abominations 
which he attacks. These abominations foster and aug- 
ment the rancor of the human heart ; and when the op- 
ponent of error — the fearless champion of truth, passes 
by, all this enmity, heretofore latent and inactive, 
breaks forth from its restraints, and is poured from full 
vials upon his devoted head. Not to the Reformer, 
therefore, but to the cherished vices of mankind, are we 
to attribute the convulsions and the agitations of the 
moral world. And the advocates of error are they, 


who turn the world upside down ; and not the friends 
of right, who are indeed the law-abiding and the true 
friends of peace and order. 

To meet all these hindrances, and to face all this 
fierce opposition, the Anti-Slavery men were forced to 
activity, and this chiefly on the ground of evidence. 
It had been the art of the Slave-traders to keep unseen 
the. horrors of their nefarious traffic; and thus the 
miseries endured by the poor victims of it, were but 
little known. To demonstrate the inherent wickedness 
and abominations of the system, and to reveal some- 
what the cruelties and agonies — 

" Worse 

Than fables yet have feigned or fear conceived." 

that were concentered in it, the Abolitionists were 
obliged to send to every commercial port in the king- 
dom, to gather abundant and significant facts. This 
labor devolved upon Mr. Clarkson. And faithfully and 
perfectly did he perform it. But none can tell the 
severe and unrelaxing effort this duty required. For 
although there were hundreds of men in England, who 
had been engaged in the Slave Trade on the coast of 
Africa, yet such was their dependency and so strong 
was the hold of their employers upon them, that few 
could be induced to unfold its dark and murderous 
revelations. Mr. Clarkson again and again visited Bris- 
tol, Liverpool, Monmouth, Bridgewater, Plymouth, and 
several other ports in quest of the needed facts. At 
Liverpool, as well as at other places that he visited, his 
life was endangered. Several ruffians attempted to cast 


him from the pier-head into the sea; and it was only- 
through his quickness and activity, that he was enabled 
to rush between them, and save himself from a watery- 
grave. But none of these things moved him. In the 
midst of all dangers he was undaunted and composed. 
In spite of all opposition, he carried out his purposes, 
obtained the evidence he sought and secured the con- 
cert of the friends of freedom there, in opposition to 
the Slave Trade. With the facts and testimony thus 
obtained, Mr. Clarkson would return, after each of his 
yearly missions, to the Anti-Slavery Committee, and to 
the leaders in Parliament. This evidence was found an 
invaluable auxiliary in the prosecution of the cause. 
The friends of freedom in Parliament, thus thoroughly 
furnished, and led on by their august chief, Mr. Wil- 
berforce, were enabled to advocate successfully the 
rights of injured human nature, and withstand the 

But the contest with slave-trading interest was a long 
and arduous one. It was the work of years, requiring 
the unwearied, almost gigantic efforts of even extra- 
ordinary men to produce tangible and evident results. 
In the year 1790, Mr. Wilberforce, on two different 
occasions, renewed his motion for the abolition of the 
slave trade, accompanied each time by speeches, which 
startled every one by their graphic pictures and trans- 
cendent ability, and elicited most extravagant encomi- 
ums. The friends of freedom, however, were unable to 
drive back the surges and the waves of the dark stream 
of death, which had its rise in this nefarious traffic, and 


which was sweeping thousands from the scenes of life 
into woe and misery, the shades and ruin. 

Yet they were not discouraged. In '92, under the 
leadership of the illustrious Wilberforce, they again 
presented the cause of Africa to Parliament. Every 
possible obstruction, every conceivable instrument of 
hindrance was used to prevent the consummation of 
their desires. Yet some progress had been made. 
Previous to this session an abridgment of all the evi- 
dence which had been obtained by Mr. Clarkson, had 
been published by the Anti-Slavery Committee. Thus 
the clear cogent reasoning, and especially the abundant 
facts he had gathered, and the evidence he had fur- 
nished the Privy Council was spread before the public 
and was scattered throughout the country. "Mr. Clark- 
son, like a messenger of light, traversed the nation. 
Anti-Slavery meetings were held in all quarters. The 
country was aroused. A perfect stream of petitions 
was poured in upon Parliament. And to give effect 
to avowed principles and determinations, more than 
300,000 Englishmen, anticipating by twenty-five years, 
the subsequent agitation for the Abolition of Slavery, 
refused the use of slave grown sugar, in testimony 
of their abhorrence of this barbarous traffic. Thus 
had been awakened a feeling, irrepressible by the 
power of Trade, the voice of Authority, or the sug- 
gestions of selfish Avarice. The opposition could 
not entirely withstand this. They were forced to yield 
somewhat. Mr. Wilberforce's motion for immediate 
abolition did not succeed; but one offered by Mr. 


Dundas for gradual abolition, was carried by a majority 
of 88. 

Not the least discouraged — yea, rather still confident, 
the friends of Abolition still continued their efforts for 
the destruction of the slave trade. Mr. Clarkson was 
abundant in labors, unwearied in exertion, collecting 
evidence, addressing meetings, travelling long journeys. 
In the midst of all, the fire of his youthful determina- 
tions kept him ever under an intense excitement. This, 
with his constant labors, anxieties, and difficulties, 
proved hurtful to his health. Nature could not stand 
all this wear ; and in 1 793 his powers gave way, and 
he was forced to retire from the field. 

During all this period Mr. Wilberforce was putting 
forth those extraordinary efforts in behalf of our race, 
and especially against the slave trade, which brought 
him distinguished honor in his own day, and have ren- 
dered his name immortal. He stood in the front of the 
cause in Parliament. There, not merely by the choice of 
his compeers, but also by his unmingled devotion, his 
earnest self-consecration, his commanding talent, and 
above all, by his evident godliness, he was the acknowl- 
edged leader. All his influence in the cabinet, with 
the ministers of state, among the religious public, where 
he was pre-eminent in his day, was exerted in behalf 
of this cause. Every year he brought it before Parlia- 
ment. He wrote books and pamphlets ; he addressed 
public meetings ; he spent his money ; he offered his 
prayers, in furtherance of its sacred objects. To such 
an extent did he carry his labors, that he endangered 


his health, and very considerably broke down his con- 

A question has arisen as to the relative claims of 
these two great men, to fame and honor, for their exer- 
tions in behalf of the slave and Africa. No decision 
has been obtained on this subject, and none, we think, 
can ever be arrived at. Their names are inseparable 
and undivided in this good, great object; and linked 
together in an united fame, shall they go down to pos- 
terity. Wherever the abolition cause is spoken of in 
all coming times, and the minds of men turn to its 
most distinguished champions and promoters, WlLBER- 
FORCE and CLARKSON will be the two names most 
readily suggested. Not the former first, because of 
more deserved honor, but for the sake of euphony in 
the utterance. Not the latter secondary, because of 
subordinate desert and service, but for ease and grace- 
fulness in the record of them. 

If Clarkson needed the splendid genius and the ma- 
jestic eloquence of Wilberforce in Parliament, for the 
accomplishment of his ends, Wilberforce was equally 
helpless, without the hands and labors of Clarkson. If 
one was necessary at the forum, with his transcendent 
ability and almost divine eloquence ; the other was 
equally demanded with his statistical ability, and his 
tireless, steady, controlling influence — the representa- 
tive of the cause before the world. If the one was 
needed in order to rectify wrong and bloody sanctions 
of law and legislation ; the other was needed at the 
head of the Anti-Slavery Committee, its life and en- 


ergy, guiding and controlling the religion and philan- 
thropy of the land: — needed at London and Bristol, 
and Liverpool and Plymouth — questioning slave-trad- 
ing seamen, visiting dark and ghostlike mid-decks, 
bringing home to the Committee those electrical facts, 
that awoke a nation from gilt and infamy, to honor 
brotherhood and justice ! For it is the most certain of 
all things, that without the presentation of clear, dis- 
tinct, irrefragible, undeniable evidence, the West India 
interest, in Parliament, would have stood the shock of 
anti-slavery opposition for a century. 

It is one of the most remarkable traits of English 
character, that, for the settling of any question of im- 
port, the main lever and engine to be employed, is 
statistical information. Without it no man can pretend 
to statesmanship, or look forward to honor. Without 
this, rhetoric is divested of its graces, learning of its 
might, genius of its splendor, and declamation of its 
pomp. In this too, the English present a remarkable 
difference to most other countries. What is done in 
Germany by profound and massive learning, in France 
by acute and subtle reasoning, and in our own country, 
by popular address and splendid eloquence, is effected 
in England by FACTS. For favor and success in any 
cause, it is absolutely necessary that this national pro- 
pensity should be satisfied to the utmost. And the 
cause, however inauspicious in its first prospects, may 
reasonably expect a successful issue, as a reward to the 
patient industry and the untiring zeal of the inventor, 
the complier, and the analyzer of statistical informa- 


tion. But without these, the loftiest eloquence is con- 
sidered only declamation, and the sagest wisdom dis- 
coursed, as but garrulity- 
It was owing very considerably, nay almost entirely, 
to the full array of these powerful controllers of public 
opinion, and to the re-acting influence produced there- 
by on the legislative body, that the Abolitionists were 
enabled to obtain success. The fire and the flame of 
an eloquence unequalled in the annals of legislation, 
Greek, Roman, or British — an eloquence almost un- 
earthly, from the lips of such men as Pitt, Fox, Burke, 
Wilberforce, Whitbread Romilly, and others, could not 
easily drive back the disciplined, well-arranged squad- 
rons of avarice and blood. But when the conviction 
of the truthfulness of the statements made by the Anti- 
Slavery party, fastened the public mind; when the 
nation saw that it was all solemn fact, that such atroci- 
ties were committed under the sun ; that it was truth 
that such abominations were enacted under the British 
flag, and beneath the decks of British vessels ; that it 
was reality that such cruel injuries were heaped upon 
human beings, their own fellow creatures, the image of 
God ! — then the pride and shame of Britons contended 
in ten thousand breasts, and the whole nation rose up 
as one man ; and thousands swept the blood-stained 
products of Slavery from their tables and their stores ; 
and came down to Parliament — a whole nation, and 
thundered at its doors, and burdened its tables, not with 
petitions merely, but with their DEMANDS, that the slave 
traders should not dare tarnish the fair fame of 


England, by the sanction and the sufferance of British 
law and British authority ! 

We may thus see how much the cause was indebted 
to Mr. Clarkson, for his unexampled and gigantic 
labors. His department in the Anti-Slavery contest 
was one of heavy plodding labor. The chief corres- 
pondence was carried on by him, augmented as it was 
for years by interchange of letters with over four hun- 
dred persons. In prosecuting his purposes he travelled 
at various times over thirty-five thousand miles, being 
often on his journey during the night, at all seasons of 
the year, exposed to all inclemencies. He was con- 
stantly publishing valuable works on this subject. In 
the year 1780, a mission to France was entrusted to 
him, designed to further the cause of Abolition. That 
country was then in a state of anarchy, and Clarkson 
was much emperiled. His reception, however, was 
highly flattering. He was introduced to General La- 
fayette, the distinguished M. Necker, the Bishop of 
Chartres, Mirabeau, Condorcet, the Abbe Gregoire, and 
several other distinguished individuals, who were all 
interested in his objects, and paid him distinguished 
consideration. He remained in France six months, but 
his mission did not result in anything more than ob- 
taining the acquaintance and the interest of philanthro- 
pists there, in the cause he had so deeply at heart. 

All these labors and responsibilities tended to break 
down his constitution; and although at intervals of 
partial recovery, he would resume his onerous duties, 
yet he was ever afterward unable to put forth those 


peculiarly masculine exertions that characterized his 
early advocacy and furtherance of the cause. 

And therefore it is, that while not detracting the 
least from the fame and honor of Wilberforce, we must 
yield equal honor to the memory of his friend. And 
this accords with the spirit of these true yoke-fellows 
in their own day and labor. Between them* no rivalry 
existed, save that of high philanthropy and enlarged 
human good. And so let it be in our grateful remem- 
brance of them. Their resplendent immortality is one 
and inseparable. " Lovely and pleasant were they in 
their lives, and in their death they shall not be divided. 
They were swifter than eagles ; they were stronger than 

We now approach a period when success began to 
await the tread of the Abolition leaders. The history 
of their labors, from 1788 down to the commencement 
of the present century, had been mostly a history of 
severe and almost fruitless labor. From year to year 
Wilberforce had presented his motion for the abolition 
of the slave trade; but to no definite effect. But 
now, various causes conspired to produce a favorable 
change — pointing to success. 

The world, at the commencement of this century, 
had been awakened to new considerations and more 
enlarged ideas. Both continents, Europe and America, 
had been shaken, by the agitation of questions pertain- 
ing to the highest interests of human liberty. The 
American Revolution had just then brought before 
Europe, abstract questions of human rights, ideal sen- 


timents of human freedom, which ever before had been 
the contemplation only of secluded thinkers, but now 
were discussed by the meanest citizen and the lowest 
serf. The spark of freedom flew across the Atlantic, 
and agitated the atmosphere of Europe. England, and 
France — the two foremost among the nations were 
especially affected by it. In the former the agitation 
was more moderate and rational; but in the latter it 
was intense, violent, and protracted ; attended by the 
volcanic irruptions of anarchy, riot, and confusion. 

At the same time, the Catholic Emancipation ques- 
tion was before the people and Parliament of England. 
And now for years, the question of the abolition of the 
slave trade, and the rights of the negro, had been agi- 
tated in the United Kingdom ; and the pregnant truths, 
the glowing facts, and the transcendent eloquence of 
the Abolition leaders, had thoroughly impregnated the 
British mind, and aroused the British conscience. 

It was just at this period they were about receiving 
important and available aid in their exertions. The 
Irish Parliament had been abrogated, and a union 
formed between that and the Parliament of England ; 
and most fortunately did it happen, that the Irish mem- 
bers now returned to the British Parliament, of every 
name and party, were the true and unswerving friends 
of the slave. I cannot but pause here, and with ad- 
miration contemplate the noble position taken by Ire- 
land upon this question. 

The spirit of that beautiful isle hath ever been on the 
side of human freedom. When herself in possession 


of it, her children have prized it beyond all price, and 
evinced their sincerity in the same by a zealous anxiety 
for the liberties of others. When deprived of it, this 
has been her highest aspiration. No ideas of com- 
mercial prosperity, no promptings of avarice, have been 
able to. repress this spirit. Neither rank nor caste 
make any exceptions to this statement. Her wealthy 
and more refined children have been willing to sacrifice 
property, to devote talent, to lay down life, for their 
beloved Erin; and the tenants of her humblest cots, 
for the realization of this, their proudest hope, — the 
freedom of Ireland, — have willingly contributed their 
scanty gains. It has been the plaintive breathing of 
the poet, and the loftiest aspiration of the orator. The 
songs of her daughters are laden with the fragrance of 
it, and the sober utterance of her matrons have tended 
to give it the strength of principle. The martyr on 
the scaffold pours forth his last mournful exclama- 
tion for his country's welfare ; and the exile in far dis- 
tant regions as he treads the beach of his adopted 
home, sends across the ocean the careering sounds of 
his earnest ejaculation — "Erin go bragkf" 

Unchangeable amid all the domestic evils, the mer-, 
cantile changes, or the political vicissitudes of their 
native land; — their motives unquestioned and their 
purposes decided' — the glorious sons of Ireland — her 
Burkes, her Grattans, her Currans, her Emmetts, her 
Moores, and her O'Connells, have always, nobly, 
proudly, withheld their countenance and support from 
the piracy and the^mtrrder of Slavery ; and have at all 


times cast the weight of their influence, their voting 
power, and eloquence in the scale of humanity, and for 
the freedom of the African race. 

But the prime cause — the grand agency, which 
tended to produce the benign results, now approaching, 
was the revived spirit of Religion, acting upon the 
heart of England. To this, more than to any other 
influence, are the children of Africa indebted for the 
glorious gifts and offerings of freedom. England at 
this period, was in one of those peculiar religious states, 
which she has at various times experienced, when the 
mind of her people and of her venerable church, was 
aroused to a sense of unworthiness, — to sorrow for 
ungratefulness, lukewarmness, and sin, — to a conscious- 
ness of the weight of responsibility and prerogative, 
resting upon them, slighted and uncared for ; and when 
both Church and people started up with the determina- 
tion, to be equal to their responsibilities, to fulfil their 
obligations, and to make the poor at home, and the 
heathen abroad, participants with themselves, of the 
lofty prerogatives of British freemen and the mild 
duties of British Christians ! And thence commenced 
those magnificent schemes of love and mercy, which 
have, carried peace, consolation, and blessedness to be- 
nighted men, in almost every quarter of the globe. 

Thus renewed and strengthened, the Abolitionists 
kept pressing on to the achievement of a glorious 
conquest. At every presentation of the question to 
Parliament, they were favored with evidences of pro- 
gress, feeble indeed, but not the less clear and indis- 


putable, that a brighter day was appearing. That day 
was the ioth of June, 1806, when Mr. Fox, then a 
Minister at court, was induced to bring the subject 
before the House. This he did by a motion for the 
abolition of the Slave Trade,, introduced by a speech 
characterized by his usual ability ; the result of which 
was the attainment of the object by a majority of 114 
to 15. An address to his Majesty was then passed. 
The resolutions of the house, together with the address, 
were both sent to the Lords. Here a very inter- 
esting debate sprung up, during which the old stale 
defences of the system were reiterated. A most noble 
advocacy of the measure contemplated was made by 
Lord Grenville, aided in the same, by that beauteous 
character the amiable Bishop Porteus, and the dis- 
tinguished Dr. Horsley, Bishop of St. Asaph. It carried 
this branch of the national legislature by a vote of 100 
to 36. This was the last act of the Grenville and Fox 
administration. They were just then about being ejected 
from office ; and fears were entertained that this measure 
would not receive the royal sanction : — but these fears 
proved groundless. The seals of office were resigned, 
and the royal sanction was given on the same day. 
This scene is most graphically related by M r. Clarkson : — 
"The commission was opened by Lord Chancellor 
Erskine, who was accompanied by Lords Holland and 
Aucland; and as the clock struck twelve, just when 
the sun was in its meridian splendor, to witness this 
august act of the establishment of l\(Iagna Charta for 


Africa, in Britain, and to sanction it by its glorious 
beams ; it was completed." 

Thus after years of most strenuous activity and un- 
exampled labors, Clarkson and his compeers effected a 
grand moral achievement. They succeeded in obtain- 
ing from the people of England, their Parliament and 
their King, a declaratory act, that man was not an arti- 
cle to be hunted as horses, buffaloes or game, and then 
as live stock, closely huddled together, be brought in 
pestiferous mid-ships across the Atlantic ; and that 
Englishmen should not engage in such inhuman prac- 
tices, at the peril of their lives. By legal enactments 
they forbid this, and declared it — Piracy. This was a 
consummation at once clear, distinct and positive. A 
victory was achieved of the most noble character, over 
one of the most formidable combinations of evil, which 
had ever opposed the influence of the cardinal virtues — 
a victory compared with which the exploits of Heroes 
and Conquerors and mighty Warriors fade into insig- 
nificance; and before which, even the triumphs of 
mind, resplendent and untarnished as they are, have to 
yield, as to higher moral and religious glory. It was 
MORAL CONQUEST, gained over the combined enmities 
of Trade, Luxury, Pride and Tyranny — made peculiarly 
illustrious by being untarnished in aught by the in- 
trusion of selfish interest, or of personal ambition — un- 
effaced by the ravages of strife, or the stains of blood. 

And great was the honor and the applause due those 
noble characters, by whose exertions this event was 
brought about. That honor and that applause they 


received in theirs own days and these shall follow their 
memory down to the latest period of "recorded time." 
And when we consider the actual immediate results pro- 
ceeding from their labors, and the prospective issues 
flowing therefrom, we shall see that they were, truly 
and indeed, full worthy of the high encomiums, which 
their contemporaries, and Christendom, and history has 
awarded them. When looking back to the scenes and 
contests of the Agitation for the Abolition of the Slave 
Trade, I feel thankful to God, not only for the benefits 
resulting to our race, but likewise to the human species 
at large. Immense advantages have accrued to the 
world, in consequence of these noble endeavors. To 
some three or four of these let me briefly direct atten- 
tion : 

1. This great moral effort has helped to create and 
increase the free sentiment of the world — to swell the 
tide of liberty — and to generate that kindly atmosphere 
of the universe, in which all free sentiments, all noble 
generous principles may flourish, but in which error 
and all slavish opinions shall suffer, languish, and die. 

2. It has furnished the world with the brilliant spec- 
tacle, of the great, the titled, the grand, the noble, and 
the wise, moved by the purest sentiments and sympa- 
thies, and gathered in affectionate brotherly regards 
around the lowly and the wretched. Bishops forgot 
their dignity, Statesmen their pride, Poets their fame, 
Courtiers their ambition, and Noble Women their 
fashion and their ease ; and with the consciousness of 
power, gathered around the brutalized Negro, answering 

246 Africa And amEricJA. 

his piteous entreaties with the exclamation — "Thou 
ART a man and a brother!" The friends of Abolition 
had the most noble compeers. Such a galaxy of Genius, 
Rank and Talent, never surrounded a cause, as was 
associated with this. And therefore to the latest times, 
the light and influence of this example shall go spread- 
ing down, to Scholars and Statesmen, to Bishops and 
Ministers, to Rulers and Nations, with its high and lofty- 
significance and its heavenly teachings. 

3. This moral effort establishes the principle, to use 
the words of Mr. Clarkson, " That commerce itself shall 
have its moral boundaries." This result is of the last 
importance. Too long has religion been abstracted 
from the lives and business pursuits of men. Too long 
has Christianity been isolated, yea almost localized to 
the Minister, the Cathedral, the Cloister or the Church ! 
That day is past, and the ^usages therewith connected, 
are numbered with the things that were. Christianity 
henceforth permeates all the relations of life, and sits in 
judgment upon all its moral concernments. From its 
severe scrutiny no man can conceal himself, from its 
severe arbitrament no man be shielded. And hence- 
forth Trade, Barter, Commerce, Enterprise, and all 
the other concerns of life, shall yield to its dictates, and 
submit to its injunctions. 

4. The most notable of all the results of the Abolition 
of the Slave Trade is that which lies far beyond it, and 
of which it was but the prelude. I allude to the high 
hope which it furnishes the children of Africa all over 
the globe, — that the days of Slavery shall soon be 


*■■■■*■ •*•» 
numbered. Compared with this, the passing of the act 

for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, itself, was compara- 
tively nothing. The labors of Wilberforce and Clarlc- 
son in this contest, it seems to me, were valuable and 
glorious, not so much for the immediate results which 
proceeded therefrom, but chiefly for the formation of 
that high moral feeling — that Christian education of trie 
piety of England, — that bringing out those enlarged 
and noble sentiments of freedom, — that made the heart 
of Britain so large and expansive, that it took in the 
world, in its noble regards, — would not tolerate the 
presence of Slavery in any of her domains, — elected as 
her duty and her obligation, — the destruction of Slavery 
in the British Dominions and throughout the 
world ! 

We are now prepared to continue our notice of Clark- 
son's life. He was at this* time near his fiftieth year, 
broken down in constitution, and under constant debility. 
This, however, did not relax his energy, nor abate his 
mental desire. Unable to engage in those peculiar 
labors, which would require much physical energy, and 
yet constitutionally disposed to activity, he began to 
turn his attention to Literature, and thus to meet the 
requirements of his nature in the field of letters and the 
labors of the mind. 

His first work was the " History of the Abolition of 
the Slave Trade," in two volumes. In this work he 
gives a full and minute history of the rise of Anti- 
Slavery feeling in Europe, from the earliest times; 
records the names of the most distinguished individuals 


connected with the same; relates the commencement 
of this effort in England, its progress and its details ; 
entering minutely into the particulars of its advance- 
ment at every stage ; bringing before us, ever and anon, 
its chief advocates and its prominent opponents, con- 
tinuing the story of it down to 1807, the year when 
victory crowned their endeavours. 

This is a great work, considered in any, and in every 
view. He has embodied in history, facts and incidents 
of the most valuable nature which but for him, would 
have been unrecorded ; and for the want of which, in 
all coming times, ingenuous and virtuous youth, would 
have lacked the splendid examples of his own, and 
Wilberforce's early self-consecration to Truth and Right- 
eousness ; Genius, Learning, and Talent would have 
been deprived of the sight of their most eminent 
examples, devoted to the cause of humanity; and 
Religion would have missed the sight of its most 
distinguished ornaments, employing the Gospel, as a 
legitimate means for the disenthralment of Africa and 
the Slave. The intrinsic value of this work is consid- 
erable. It is written in a clear perspicuous style. It is 
a true history. The wisdom, the clear reasoning, the 
accurate statement, with which it abounds, are admira- 
ble. And at times it is graced with passages of the 
utmost pathos, and rises to the heights of the eloquent 
and the sublime. 

Mr. Clarkson also published a " Portraiture of Quaker- 
ism," in 3 vols., a Life of William Penn in 2 vols., and 
several other works. 



All his works give evidence that his was no common 
mind. He cannot indeed be classed with those dis- 
tinguished men, the great suns of Literature — the Platos, 
the Newtons and the Bacons, who appear only once in 
an age, and shine for all coming times : yet he was well 
gifted in mental resources and intellectual ability. The 
more marked features of his mind, if I misiake not, 
were clearness of judgment, sound common sense, ac- 
curate discrimination, and that marked characteristic of 
Englishmen — practicality. He was undoubtedly, a man 
of extensive information, and large acquaintance. He 
had one faculty which Coleridge regards as indicative 
of a great mind — "The capability of extending its 
attention to the greatest multiplicity of affairs." The 
logical faculty is not strongly developed in his writings. 
Like most Reformers he perceives truth as by intuition ; 
and without the labor of severe ratiocination, arrives at 
his conclusions, with accuracy and correctness. With 
all this, he was an excellent scholar, which shed a grace- 
ful influence over the fruits of his mind, and adorned 
his style. The latter was clear and chaste, full of sweet 
simplicity, and abounding at times in beautiful para- 

Mr. Clarkson, however, did not allow his attention to 
be absorbed entirely in literary pursuits. He had de- 
voted himself to the cause of the African race ; and to 
that cause he was determined to be true and faithful 
through life. He had indeed succeeded in one great 
object of his life. The British government, had been 
led to declare the slave trade Piracy ; and so far as it 

250 Africa And America. 

was concerned, to quit herself of all legal responsibility 
in the same. Yet there was still need of labor and 
effort. The slave trade was still carried on : connived 
at by some nations, sanctioned by others. And slavery, 
its fruitful source, was still in existence; and human 
beings were sold, bartered, and scourged, and murdered, 
beneath the British flag and under the sanction of 
British law. Mr. Clarkson could not remain indiffer- 
ent to all this crime and barbarity. Infirm as he was, 
growing aged too, yet he felt himself stirred to manly 
effort and humane activity. Clarkson was not like too 
many of our American divines, who can declaim with 
sensibility and pathos over that horrid African slave 
trade ; and at the next breath, defend the slave trade of 
our own country; and prove the System of Slavery, a 
Patriarchal Institution, and established by God ! Not 
so he. He saw, as any pure mind can see, that the 
slave trade and slavery, both come under the same 
category, and merit the same condemnation, as equally 
and alike, systems of rapine, lust, robbery, and murder, 
in their incipiency and in all their fruits and details. 
Against British West India Slavery he now directed his 
energies; and endeavored to arouse the repugnance of 
his countrymen. For this purpose he drew up and 
published an able treatise, entitled " Thoughts on the 
necessity of Abolishing Slavery." This work was fol- 
lowed by several others upon the same subject, which, 
with the combined exertions of several other Abolition- 
ists, the first among the great men of England, suc- 
ceeded in arousing that strong feeling which, shook and 

EtJLOGiuM. 254 

agitated the whole kingdom, and would not cease until 
the shackle was stricken from the fettered limb of the 
slave, and the door was opened to the captive. 

While putting forth these exertions, Mr. Clarkson 
still stirred himself with reference to the slave trade. 
His chief anxiety in this respect seems to have been, to 
obtain the combined opposition of the great nations of 
Europe against it, forbidding their subjects participat- 
ing in it, and declaring it piracy. And for this purpose 
he failed not to avail himself of every opportunity. In 
1815, the Emperor of Russia, the celebrated Alexander, 
some other of the crowned heads of Europe, and several 
highly distinguished individuals, met in Paris. Mr. 
Clarkson drew up an address to the sovereigns, and re- 
quested an interview, which was readily granted. Soon 
after a meeting took place at Aix-la-Chapelle, when 
the Emperor, recognizing Mr. Clarkson, led him into 
his room, and placed a chair for him to sit upon. The 
Emperor expressed approval of his address, and under- 
took to deliver copies of it to the Emperor of Austria, 
and the King of Prussia. 

Thus did this distinguished man " stand before kings," 
honored and respected in the simplicity and beauty of a 
high and holy character. Nor was it only abroad that 
his virtues were appreciated and his name honored. At 
home too, on the very spot which had witnessed his 
labors, were those labors esteemed, and his character 
reverenced. Flattering acknowledgments of his worth 
and estimation, were received from all quarters of the 
world. The Poet Wordsworth addressed him a highly 


eulogistic sonnet. A few years since he was presented 
with the freedom of the city of London. And the in- 
habitants of the town of Wisbeach — his birth place — 
requested him to sit for his portrait, to be placed in 
their town house. The benignant providences of the 
God he served, waited likewise upon the honors show- 
ered upon him by his fellow-men. Most happy was 
he in the observations of his later life. The agita- 
tions in which he had participated against British West 
India Slavery, proved successful in the issue. God 
spared his aged servant to see with his own eyes that 
issue. In 1834, the Emancipation Act was passed in 
the British Parliament, and freedom announced through 
all the western dominions of the realm ; and as the 
reverberating sounds of freedom from the lips of 800,000 
freed men ascended from the lovely isles of the west, 
the fervent thanksgivings of this venerable patriarch, 
mingled with them, and rose as grateful incense to the 

Happy, most happy, must have been his feelings at 
the remembrance that it was owing much to him that 
the genius of British Liberty had been aroused to exert 
her high prerogatives of freedom, — to give her lofty 
arbitrament on the side of African Liberty — to stand 
upon the white cliffs of England, and send the mandate 
across the ocean — 

" Thy chains are broken, Africa, be free ! 
Thus saith the island-empress of the sea; 
Thus saith Britannia. — O, ye winds and waves ! 
Waft the glad tidings to the land of slaves; 
Proclaim on Guinea's coast, by Gambia's side, 


As far as Niger rolls his eastern tide — 
Thus saith Britannia, empress of the sea, 
Thy chains are broken. Africa bk Free !" 

It is not often a man is privileged to see in his own 
day and time the fruits of his own earnest labor, and 
the accomplishment of his ends. More frequently is it 
the case, that when some true architect of .genius or 
philanthropy, has singled out some particular project, 
as his mission, that just as his plans have been com- 
pleted, ere yet the foundation of them is fully laid, the 
mighty architect has been snatched from his labors, and 
to some kindred spirit has been left the work, or rearing 
and proportioning his fabric. 

But in Mr. Clarkson's case the heavens were most 
propitious. Within the period of his mortal life, were 
included, not only the days of high and holy purpose, 
• — the days of severe and earnest labor, — the days of 
painful sacrifice and suffering ; — but likewise the glori- 
ous days of success and accomplishment for the two 
great leading purposes, which had engaged the labors 
of his life. One would have thought that having done 
so much — weighed down too beneath the accumulated 
weight of four score years, this aged patriarch would 
have ceased his labors. But no. In his youth he had 
put on the harness for life ; and through life, he was 
determined to wear it. When the World's Anti-Slavery 
Convention met in London, Mr. Clarkson was present 
and acted as Chairman ; evincing in this position, not 
only the universal honor in which he was held, but like- 
wise the zeal of a venerable old man in the cause of 


freedom and our race. During the last few years he 
kept up a continual correspondence with Anti-Slavery 
men ; interested himself in all measures tending to the 
improvement of the African race ; and published several 
valuable treatises upon the subject, and especially in 
relation to its bearing on this country. And here I 
may remark that there are some peculiar reasons why 
we, children of Africa in this land, should in a peculiar 
manner, and for peculiar reasons, cherish the honored 
name of Clarkson. Our illustrious friend felt an ex- 
ceeding interest in the cause of the colored race in this 
land, both bond and free. I have already called Mr. 
Clarkson a Philanthropist. And so he was, in the best, 
noblest sense, of that comprehensive and extensive 
word. His philanthropy was commensurate with the 
Christianity he professed. It took in all the world. 
" Not circumscribed by state lines or geographical 
bounds ; he had an open ear and a sympathetic heart 
for the poor slave in southern fields, and the marked, 
proscribed, ym'-colored men suffering at the north, 
under the murderous system of caste." During the 
latter part of his life, Mr. Clarkson paid very consid- 
erable attention to the rights, interests, and condition 
of the colored race, in this land. The first manifesta- 
tion of this interest was given in relation to the cause 
of Colonization. After a close and accurate investiga- 
tion of this scheme, in the grounds of its origin, in the 
purposes it proclaimed, in the objects it aimed at, and 
in the means employed for its furtherance ; with a dis- 
criminating judgment exercised upon the same, Mr. 


Clarkson renounced his connection with the Coloniza- 
tion Society, and published to the whole world his loss 
of confidence in it ; denouncing it as the handmaid of 
slavery and a great persecuting Institution of colored 
men. Since that time he has published several pamphlets 
upon The "System of Slavery — The prevalence of Caste — 
and one Addressed to the Christians of America of all 
Denominations. Just previous to his decease he wrote 
an article upon the American Union, in its relation to 
the continuance of Slavery therein. The manuscript of 
this he placed in the hands of George Thompson, Esq., 
to be published after his death. 

Thus lived this good old man, his whole life a glori- 
ous adornment of the Holy Faith, which he professed. 
And now full of years, full of honors, abundant in good 
works even to the last ; the time arrived for him to pre- 
pare to die. And in meekness and in faith he was 
made ready. On the 26th of September, the messenger 
came for him. He laid himself down quietly and sub- 
missively before his God ; and after a few utterances, 
of his pure and simple faith, and his assured confidence 
in the Redeemer, he passed away to the spirit land. 

Thus lived and died Thomas Clarkson, the illustrious 
friend of Africa and her children. And what a life ! 
How glorious in its lofty goodness, its pure benevolence, 
its destructions of evil, its upbuilding the institutions of 
mercy and of love ! In looking at it, even amid the 
solemnities of the death-chamber, the funeral, and the 
grave, — gloominess recedes; and the saying of the 
sacred writer occurs — " The path of the just is as the 


shining light, that shineth more and more unto the 
perfect day." Indeed, grief has but brief opportunity 
at the demise of a man like Clarkson, so full of years, 
and with a life so perfectly finished and completed. No 
poignant grief is here ; no incontrollable anguish. But 
we are awed and solemnized at the passing away from 
earth of that which is the grandest and most transcend- 
ent in human nature. Mr. Clarkson was pre-eminently 
the Christian character. This, I think, expresses 
him fully and entirely ; and this is the ground of ad- 
miration and of reverence. In describing him, I do not 
think we fully meet his merits by the title of — great 
man, or Great Philanthropist. He was both of these 
indeed ; yet he was more. It was character CHRISTIAN- 
IZED, which gave force and momentum to his name, 
and words and life, and secured success to his aims from 
early manhood to extreme old age; and in this he 
furnishes a most glorious manifestation of the capacity 
of our holy religion. No such fruits are produced on 
heathen ground. Paganism has no such offerings to 
present, in all her histories. The " owlet Atheism," is 
barren and unproductive of such luminous gifts. It is 
Christianity which has such offspring, and Christianity 
alone ; and when we desire to behold such lofty men as 
Clarkson, we must seek them amid the institutions of 
Christianity- And the life and labors, and principles 
of Clarkson, prove him to have been one of its very 
noblest fruits. ******* 

And now, fellow-citizens, having thus expressed our 
reverence for the name and character of this illustrious 


Philanthropist, let us not retire from this edifice to- 
night, without appropriating to ourselves some of the 
lofty teachings, and elevating influences, which the con- 
templation of his life is calculated to give. Ifitistrue, 
that a really great man is a gift seldom granted the 
world; it is equally true, that the fewness of their visits 
is made up, in the permanent advantages they afford 
the world, in the healthful influences they send abroad, 
and from the clear light of truth, which comes stream- 
ing down from their day and time, more vital and 
luminous, than the spark of life which animated them 
during the period of their existence. 

There is a depth, a power, an impressibility, about 
them, at once franscendent and majestic; diverse in 
different men, because of varied genius, diversified cir- 
cumstances and dissimilar objects : yet in all, display- 
ing a oneness in their beauty and their brightness. 

The lives of some men are Poems. They are filled 
with light and adorned with grace and beauty. The 
lives of others are Martyrdoms. They die daily. The 
lives of another class are Heroisms. They do wondrous 
deeds and perform most marvelous acts. The lives of 
a few are- Prophecies. They make revelations, and 
open the portals of the future. To cite no more than 
these : — How picturesque — how benign and gladsome, 
— how full of grandeur and sublimity — the lives of 
Xavier, and Heber, of Dante, Spenser, and in Sacred 
Writ, Elijah and the beloved St. John : These lived in 
a world of light and beauty, they walked beneath the 


open heavens of sentiment and love, they "breathed 
empyreal air, sons of the morning." 

How much of tearful agony, and ofttimes, of vicari- 
ous suffering is associated with the names of those 
glorious men, who for the vindication of Truth — for the 
advancement of Science — and for JESUS' SAKE, were 
baptized with afflictions and agonies, even to the death ! 
What tales the old grim Castles, the dark Dungeons, 
the Gibbet, the Battlefield, the Stake, the Cross — could 
tell, of suffering and of woe, aye, and of steadfastness 
and of patient endurance too, exhibited by those lofty 
creatures of human mould : martyrs of Science — 
martyrs of Goodness, Truth and Love — GOSPEL MAR- 
TYRS — martyrs of Human Rights, and of Political Free- 
dom ! Socrates, Galileo, Kepler, Tell and Wenkelried, 
Wallace, Sidney and Hampden, and above all, the 
Prophets, the Apostles, the Primitive Christians, and 
the Reformers. 

And these too, were the HEROES of the olden time, 
and of our more modern world — who trod earth with a 
loftier mein and carriage than the lowlier humbler sort 
of men — who performed wondrous deeds — "who through 
faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, ob- 
tained promises, stopped the mouths of lions!" 

They were Prophets too, each in his own lot: — the 
men, who, while they enacted the wondrous in their 
own times, for their own day and generation, worked 
also for the future. Such a one was Galileo, who ex- 
ploded the errors of preceding generations, and revealed 
the phenomena of the heavens with exactitude and pre- 


cision — Such a one was BACON, who dispelled the mist 
and darkness which enshrouded the human mind in its 
excursions after Truth, and gave it the light of a single 
Principle — the great sun in the heavens of intellect — by 
which we are enabled to make the farthest ventures in 
Science and investigation : — such were Luther and 
CRANMER, who swept away the meshes of error and 
superstition which had wound themselves round the 
mind of great nations for centuries ; and opened upon 
the sight of man the clear, bright avenues of Truth, 
Salvation, and Eternal Life. 

And the days, of high and lofty character — the days 
of the heroic, the martyr-like, and the prophetic, in 
human life, are not altogether in the past. Within the 
century in which we live, glorious displays of them all 
have been made, for the good of man and for the glory 
of God. The Anti-Slavery struggle brought them out 
in bold relief. The life and character of Clarkson is a 
bright and peculiar exemplification. In him there was 
a blending and a mingling of all these characteristics. 
How much of the poetic is discovered in the incidents 
of his early, almost youthful life. It is a compete Epic, 
with its grand and noble representations and its lofty 
teachings. There is that which is sublime, in the 
agonies of a youthful heart keeping time with the dis- 
tressful pulsations of thousands of poor slaves, in dun- 
geons and dark pestiferous slave barks: — a youthful 
soul, contending, striving against high hopes and lofty 
aspirations, and calmly putting them aside for a labor 
of love and human brotherhood. 


And in the severe, the extraordinary labors of this 
great man — the risks he run in slave vessels, in dark, 
gloomy, murderous midships — meeting with grim and 
bloody pirates, — risking his life amid imminent deadly 
dangers — laying out his strength in hard and wasting ex- 
ertions ; we have developed the Hero, and the Martyr- 
Spirit. The single incident of an obscure student start- 
ing up to battle a giant hoary evil, is wondrous as a 
spectacle, and in its teachings. "Here" remarks a 
writer of the day, "Here was a spectacle which men 
according to their feelings, would have called sublime 
or absurd ; a young student of twenty-four, of narrow 
fortune, and almost unknown, devoting himself to a 
work from which Kings and Senators would have 
turned with dismay ! " 

Nor is the prophetic wanting in the character and 
the life of this distinguished man. It is expressed, 
clear, distinct and prominent. The ENERGY and the 
PRINCIPLES of men like Clarkson — men who grapple 
wrong and error with a tenacious and an iron grasp, 
have a ringing, sounding significance, heard and felt, 
long through aftertimes. It was thus with Clarkson 
from the start. In the earnest, systematic, positive, and 
determined step and glance of that young man, a slave- 
trader might have clearly seen at the offset, that the 
system would not be suffered to exist, however propped 
up and supported; — and that it MUST die. And by 
the power and the light of the lofty heaven-derived 
principles which Clarkson wielded — principles realized 
by success and accomplishment— we, the children of 


Africa, may take prophetic glance, and behold the 
glorious privileges and enlarged advantages of Free- 
dom, springing up before us, all along the crowded 
avenues of coming times. 

And, my friends, let us not suffer the rich instruc- 
tions, and the massive treasures afforded us in the lives 
of Clarkson, and all other such great men, to pass us 
by, unheeded and disregarded. The lofty wisdom and 
the serene teaching which lie in them, let us appropri- 
ate to ourselves, and incorporate in our lives and 
characters. Sweeping away from before our sight, the 
mists of selfishness, and the films of earthliness, let us 
erect ourselves to the altitude and the proportions of 
noble men — furnish the world with the pictures of 
Beautiful Lives and Glorious Characters; — give dem- 
onstrations in our persons anti histories, of the Heroic 
and Martyr-like; — anticipate the future by the force of 
Everlasting Principles and Eternal Truth ; sending 
down the light thereof to coming times, by our own 
high conformity: — 

" Lives of great men all remind us, 
We can make our lives sublime; 
And departing leave behind us, 
Fool-prints on the sands of time.'* 

While remembering with grateful feeling the Philan- 
thropists of England of a past day, and honoring her 
noble dead, let us not be so forgetful nor so culpable, 
as to forget the Abolitionists of our own country, of a 
past day and of the present. Our deceased friend set 
us a noble example in this respect. Of this country, 


Abolitionists of these times were his friends, and such 
alone. Let us be true now, in their own day and peril, 
to these benefactors of our race, and friends of man. 
Why should we wait until they have cast off this mortal 
coil and become clothed upon with immortality, to 
greet them and their memories, on the shores of eter- 
nity, when the meed of praise, and the thrilling tones 
of gratefulness, are now their due ; and when too our 
beaming eyes and thankful utterances, may serve to 
cheer and animate them, amid their sweatful toil and 
their imminent dangers ! 

A more ardent, devoted, unselfish set of men the 
world hath never seen. Such manifestations of philan- 
thropy, such tokens of love, such displays of kindness 
to the lowly and the abject; have rarely been equalled 
amid all the histories of goodness which time hath ever 
recorded on her ample page. Their disinterestedness 
is equal to their other virtues. It is almost in vain we 
look among them for the intrusions of selfish purpose 
or vaunting ambition. Their exhibitions of self-sacri- 
fice, and of fearless hearty zeal — their demonstrations 
of brotherhood and equality, are really touching and 
subduing. Honored and revered be these glorious 
men ! They shed light upon our pathway in our day 
of darkness, and now as we are emerging from the 
gloom let us not forget their goodness. 

I am thankful for this opportunity of associating in 
this my humble performance, their honored names 
beside the names of our English friends, with whom 
they ever lived in sympathy, and walked in unison. 


And my earnest desire is that our grateful remem- 
brance of the one may ever be associated with the 

Let no imputation of wildness against them, no sense- 
less fanatical cry of fanaticism, no difference of faith or 
creed, no party feeling, no dissimilarity of views in 
regard to particular means or measures; — not even 
casual exhibitions of rashness on their part; — keep us 
from rendering the tribute of praise and admiration to 
the most marked, characters, and the most heroic beings 
of the age ! — a set of men, who in all coming history 
will be regarded as they, alone, who, in their day and 
generation, retrieved their country and their age, from 
absolute imbecility and littleness. 

"Blessings be with them and eternal praise;" 

the memory of the Abolitionists of the past — tljje free 
and generous Benezet; the lofty and serene John 
Jay ; the sage and venerable Franklin ; the humane 
Matthew Clarkson; the Christian-minded Rush; 
the noble-souled TOMPKINS ; the august and incom- 
parable Clinton : and then the Philanthropists of the 
present day — GARRISON, the TAPPANS, the JAYS, the 
Smiths, the Birneys, the Welds and the Phillips, — 
vindicators of our race and friends of the slave. 

Finally, friends and fellow-citizens, let us not be un- 
mindful of the prerogatives and the obligations arising 
from the fact, that the exhibition of the greatest talent, 
and the development of the most enlarged philanthropy 
in the 19th century, have been bestowed upon our race. 


The names of the great lights of the age — Statesmen, 
Poets, and Divines, in all the great countries of Europe, 
and in this country too, are inseparably connected with 
the cause and destiny of the African race. This has 
been the theme whence most of them have reaped 
honor and immortality This cause has produced the 
development of the most noble character of modern 
times; — has given the world a WlLBERFORCE and a 
Clarkson. Lowly and depressed as we have been, 
and as we now are, yet our interests, and our welfare, 
have agitated the chief countries of the world, and 
now, before all other questions, are shaking this nation 
to its very centre. The Providences of God have 
placed the Negro race, before Europe and America, in 
the most commanding position. From the sight of us, 
no nation, no statesman, no ecclesiastics, and no eccle- 
siastical institution, can escape. And by us and our 
cause, the character and greatness of individuals and 
of nations, in this day and generation of the world, are 
to be decided, either for good or for evil: — and so in 
all coming times, the memory and the fame of the 
chief actors now on the stage will be decided, by their 
relation to our cause. The discoveries of Science, the 
unfoldings of Literature, the dazzlings of Genius, all 
fade before the demands of this cause. This is the 
age of BROTHERHOOD and humanity; and the Negro 
Race is its most distinguished test and criterion. 

And for what are all these providences ? For noth- 
ing? He who thinks so must be blinded, must be 
demented. In these facts are wound up a most distinct 

feULOGIUM. 265 

significance, and with them are connected, most clear 
and emphatic obligations and responsibilities. I have 
already hinted at the relation they bore to the power- 
holding body in this country. But the clear-minded 
and thoughtful Colored Men of America — they too 
must mark the significance of these facts, and begin to 
feel the weight of these obligations and responsibilities. 
For more than two centuries we have been working 
our way up from the deep and dire degradation into 
which Slavery had plunged us. We have made con- 
siderable headway. By the vigorous use of the oppor- 
tunities of our but partial freedom, we have been en- 
abled, with the Divine blessing, to reach a position of 
respectability and character'. We have pressed, some- 
what, in the golden avenues of Science, Intelligence 
and Learning. We have made impressions there ; and 
some few of our foot-prints have we left behind. The 
mild light of Religion has illumined our pathway, and 
Superstition and Error have fled apace. The greatest 
paradoxes are evinced by us. Amid the decay of 
nations, a rekindled life starts up in us. Burdens under 
which others expire, seem to have lost their influence 
upon us; and while they are "driven to the wall," 
destruction keeps far from us its blasting hand. We 
live in the region of death, yet seem hardly mortal. 
We cling to life in the midst of all reverses ; and our 
nerveful grasp thereon, cannot easily be relaxed. His- 
tory reverses its mandates in our behalf: — our dotage 
is* in the past. "Time writes not its wrinkles on our 
brow;" our juvenescence is in the future. All this, 


with the kindly nature which is acknowledgedly ours — 
with the gifts of freedom vouchsafed us by the Almighty 
in this land, in part, and the West Indies, — with the 
intellectual desire every where manifesting itself — and 
the exceeding interest exhibited for Africa by her own 
children and by the Christian nations of the world; 
indicate that we may not gather a trivial meaning nor 
a narrow significance. 

The teaching of God in all these things, is, undoubt- 
edly, that ours is a great destiny, and that we should 
open our eyes to it. God is telling us all — that, 
whereas the past has been dark, grim and repulsive — 
the future shall be glorious; — that the horrid traffic 
that does 

"The multitudinous seas incarnadine, 

Making the green one red; 

shall yet be entirely staunched — that the whips and 
brands, the shackles and fetters of slavery shall be cast 
down to oblivion; — that the shades of Ignorance and 
Superstition, that have so long settled upon the mind 
of Africa, shall be dispelled; — and that all her sons, 
on her own broad continent, in the Western Isles, and 
in this Republic; — shall yet stand erect beneath the 
heavens, — 

" With freedom chartered on their manly brows," 

their bosoms swelling with its noblest raptures — tread- 
ing the face of earth in the links of Brotherhood and 
Equality, and in the possession of an enlarged and 
glorious Liberty ! 


May we be equal to these providences, may we prove 
deserving such a destiny ! And God grant that when 
at some future day, our ransomed, and cultivated pos- 
terity, shall stand where we now stand, and bear the 
burdens that we now bear ; they may reap the fruits of 
our foresight, our virtues, and our high endeavor. And 
may they have the proud satisfaction of knowing, that 
we their ancestors, uncultured and unlearned, amid all 
trials and temptations, were, men of integrity. — Recog- 
nized with gratefulness their truest friends dishonored 
and in peril. Were enabled to resist the seductions of 
ease and the intimidations of power. Were true to 
themselves, the age in which they lived, their abject 
race, and the cause of man. Shrunk not from trial, nor 
from suffering: — but conscious of Responsibility, and 
impelled by Duty ; gave themselves up to the vindica- 
tion of the high hopes, and the lofty aims of TRUE 

Eulogium on 
Henry Highland Garnet, D. D. 

Before the Union Literary and Historical Association; 
Washington, D. C, May 4th, 1882. 


" HOWL, fir tree ; for the cedar is fallen ! " * This is 
the ejaculation of an ancient Prophet at the fall of a 
great and mighty nation. The figure is at once ex- 
pressive and melancholy. It requires no extraordinary 
imagination to set before the eye one of those mighty 
monarchs of the forest, the grand cedars of Lebanon ; 
tall, majestic and powerful, its age hoar and venerable, 
its girth enormous, its awful form uplifted to the skies, 
its arms widespread and gigantic, a mighty forest king 
which, for centuries, had defied the force of the severest 
hurricanes; but at last there comes the final, fatal 
*storm, -and down at once it falls, prostrate to the earth, 
its glory gone, its life forevermore but a thing of 
memory ! 

Such a natural disaster is easily transferred by the 
imagination to the calamities of nations and men. It 
is a spontaneous impulse of our being to resort "to 
nature for the expressions of our most vivid emotions. 
On momentous occasions, or at times of dread calamity 
our own inward resources are too scanty; and so the 

*£ech., xi. ?, 


sun's decline, the fall of a star, the waning, dying, light 
of a luminary in the heavens, or the fall of a majestic 
cedar of the forest serve as expressive emblems of the 
mortality of man. 

The death of Henry Highland Garnet can have no 
more fitting threnody than the wail of the prophet: 
" Howl, fir tree ; for the cedar hath fallen ! " Like a 
cedar of Lebanon he was, in both his inner and his 
outer nature, a grand and majestic being; and his 
death, like the fall of a mighty monarch of the forest, 
is one of the saddest afflictions which has recently 
fallen upon our race. Our assembling here to-night is 
to express our admiration of the life and character of 
this eminent man, and our grief at his loss. He was a 
man of wonderful qualities, of astonishing eloquence, 
of strong, vigorous and commanding character, of long- 
continued and philanthropic labors, of great virtues; 
a true genius, a most illustrious example of the capac- 
ity of the Negro race and of the dignity of man. 

In venturing a eulogy upon this eminent person, I 
approach a subject full of incident and adventure, vari- 
able with the lights and shades of human life, not 
seldom darkly lined with the traces of suffering and 
misfortune, now brilliant with the lustre of genius, and 
now dark with the touches of disaster; but everywhere, 
and at all time, whether in sunshine or in shade, lofty, 
self-sustained, brilliant and commanding. 

Our distinguished friend was born in slavery, in Kent 
county, Md., December 23, 181 5, on the plantation of 
Colonel William Spencer. His father before him was 


born in the same condition and at the same place. 
His grandfather, however, was born a freeman in Africa. 
He was a Mandingo chieftain and warrior, and, having 
been taken prisoner in a tribal fight, was sold to the 
slave traders, and then brought as a slave to America. 
But the fires of liberty were never quenched in the 
blood of this family; and they burst fort'h into an 
ardent flame in the bosom of George Garnet, the son 
of the native African warrior. Born in New York my- 
self, I had no acquaintance with the grandfather of 
Henry Garnet ; but I knew both his parents well, and 
early became acquainted with the eventful history of 
the whole family. 

It was about the year 1824 that Colonel Spencer, 
the master, died. His slaves were devised to various 
relatives, some of whom were noted for severity and 
cruelty. Burning with an intense desire for freedom, 
George Garnet fell upon a scheme which, cleverly 
carried out, brought freedom to his whole family. 
Obtaining permission to attend a slave's funeral, he 
took his wife, his son Henry and his only daughter in 
a covered wagon to Wilmington, Del. There they re- 
mained one night under the protection of the cele- 
brated Quaker, Thomas Garret, a man famous for aid- 
ing fugitives,* by whose agency they were pushed on 
to Bucks county, Pa. 

* Thomas Garrett will ever remain the one immortal name which, through all time, 
will give honor to the city of Wilmington, Del. During his life he helped between two 
and three thousand fugitives to escape from slavery and to obtain their freedom. His 
grand service to the Garnet family was never forgotten by Dr. Garnet ; and in 18 — he 
went to Wilmington, on some public occasion, and in a public address thanked the old 
hero and philanthropist lor the shelter given him and his father's family in his boyhood. 



In 1825 the Garnet family came to New York city, 
and soon after took apartments at 137 Leonard street, 
the very next door to my father's house. And here, as 
little boys, Garnet and myself became school-mates 
and life-long friends. 

I remember his father well. A grander, nobler, more 
stately man, both in stature and character than George 
Garnet, I have rarely met. He was as tall as his more 
celebrated son; a perfect Apollo, in form and figure; 
with beautifully moulded limbs and fine and delicate 
features ; just like hundreds of the grand Mandingoes 
I have seen in Africa ; whose full blood he carried in 
his veins. 

Unlike his son, he was grave and sober in his 
demeanor, but solid and weighty in his words ; not 
given to talk, and reminding one of the higher Quaker 
character ; deeply religious ; and carrying in his every 
movement strength and dignity. I remember well the 
self-restraint his appearance always evoked among my 
playmates, and a certain sense of awe which his majestic 
presence always impressed us with. 

His mother was as notable a person as his father, 
both in personal presence and traits of character; a 
most comely and beautiful woman ; tall and finely 
moulded with a bright, intellectual face, lit up with 
lustrous, twinkling, laughing eyes — which she gave as 
an inheritance, to her son ; and the very soul of fun, 
wit, frolic and laughter. 

From this brief description you can see whence our 
late friend got that readiness, humor, intellectual fire, 


steadiness of character and strong native thought, which 
were his grand characteristics. They came from both 
parents ; but like most great men they were especially 
the gift of that grand mother. Blessings for ever upon 
all good and noble mothers ! 

From such a stock, with both physical and mental 
greatness in both lines of his ancestry, Henry Garnet 
inherited that fine physique, that burning vitality, that 
large intellectual power, that fiery flame of liberty, and 
those high moral and spiritual instincts, which are gen- 
erally characteristic of the great. 

Coming to New York he entered at an early day the 
African Free School, in Mulberry street, and became 
the schoolmate and friend of those distinguished colored 
men, then boys, whose names have become celebrated 
in the history of our race in this land : — Patrick Reason, 
Prof. Charles L. Reason, Geo. T Downing, Ira Aldridge, 
the great tragedian ; Isaiah De Grass, James McCune 
Smith, M. D., and Samuel Ringgold Ward. 

Owing to the necessities of the family he spent 'two 
years at sea as a cabin boy. During his absence, in 
1829, ar * event took place which is impressed very 
vividly upon my memory, and which can not be omitted 
from this narrative. I saw the occurrence with my own 
eyes, playing, after sunset, before my father's door. 
One evening, in the month of July or August, a white 
man, a kinsman of the late Colonel Spencer, the old 
master, walked up to Mr. Garnet's hired rooms, on the 
second floor of the dwelling. He knocked at the 
door, and Mr. Garnet himself opened it. "Does a man 


by the name of George Garnet live here?" was the 
question put. "Yes," was Mr. Garnet's reply; and 
immediately, as by a flash, though years had passed 
away, he recognized one of his old master's relatives. 
The slave-hunter, however, did not recognize George 
Garnet. "Is he at home?" was the next question, to 
which, with quiet self-possession, Mr. Garnet replied: 
"I will go and see." Leaving the open door Mr. 
Garnet, without saying a word to his wife, daughter, 
and a friend in the room, passed into a side bed-room. 
The opened window was about twenty feet from the 
ground; between the two houses was an alley at least 
four feet wide ; the only way of escape was to leap from 
the side window of the bed-room into my father's yard. 
How Mr. Garnet made this fearful leap, how he escaped 
breaking both neck and legs, is a mystery to me to this 
day; but he made the leap and escaped. In my 
father's yard was a large ill-tempered dog, the terror of 
the neighborhood, The dog, by a wondrous provi- 
dence, remained quiet in his early evening slumbers. 
After jumping several fences Mr. Garnet escaped 
through Orange street, and the slave-hunter's game was 
thus effectually spoiled. 

On his return from one of his trips to Washington, 
Henry Garnet found his father's family scattered by 
this raid of Maryland slaveholders. 

The news almost crazed him ; and having purchased 
a clasp-knife he walked Broadway, expecting and pre- 
pared for an attack from the slave-hunters. His friends, 


however, hurried him out of the city, and for a time he 
was concealed on Long Island. 

Just after these occurrences, by an accident, he con- 
tracted white-swelling in his right leg, and thus became 
a cripple for life. These startling occurrences, above 
narrated, proved the pivotal event of Henry Garnet's 
life. From that time forward he was a man. The 
breeze of nature began to stir within him. Lar2"e and 
glowing ideas circled his b^ain. The mystery of life 
had sprung upon him ! There are certain plants which 
carry latent in their folds, special virtues, odors, me- 
dicinal qualities, electric power, which to ordinary sight 
are unrecognized and unknown ; but step upon them, 
crush them with the slightest tread, and immediately all 
their latent qualities spring to the surface, and marvel- 
ous powers startle the touch, or exhalations fill the air ! 
So the anguish of this family calamity gave birth to a 
giant soul ! From this terrible ordeal Henry Garnet 
came forth like gold thoroughly refined from the fire ! 
The soberness which comes from trial, the seriousness 
which is the fruit of affliction, the melancholy and the re- 
flection which spring from pain and suffering, for he was 
now a cripple, soon brought Garnet to the foot of the 
Cross. He had attached himself about this time, to the 
Sunday-school of the First Presbyterian church, under 
the care of the celebrated Rev. Theodore S. Wright. 

His wonderful aptness, great cleverness, immediately 
attracted the attention of his pastor and teachers, and 
he at once took there, as wherever else he went, the 
foremost place in the school. Parson Wright baptized 

278 Africa and America. 

him, and at once became his patron and friend. And 
when soon afterward he decided to enter the ministry, 
he looked upon Garnet as his own "son in the gospel;" 
and always, to the day of his death, cared and provided 
for him in all his efforts to secure a liberal education 
and to reach the ministry. 

In 183 1 the leading colored men in New York city es- 
tablished a High School for classical studies, for colored 
youth. Garnet, with Sidney, Downing, George Law- 
rence, (now of Texas,) and several others of our school- 
mates were, its first pupils. This school only whet our 
youthful appetite for larger facilities of training and cul- 
ture. But, alas ! in those days the doors of all acade- 
mies and colleges were closed to colored youth. Our 
parents looked one way and another ; but not a ray of 
hope was discoverable on the intellectual horizon of 
the country. 

Fortunately, however, just at this time, it was in the 
year 1835, the abolitionists of New Hampshire, dis- 
gusted with the negro-hatred of the schools, and mor- 
tified at the intellectual disabilities of the black race, 
opened a school at Canaan, N. H. Youth of any and 
all races, and of both sexes, were to be received in it. 
I cannot tell the delight its announcement gave our 
little band in the Canal Street High School. Three of. 
us New York boys, Henry Highland Garnet, Thomas 
S. Sidney* and myself, at once took advantage of this 
opportunity, and off at once we started for Canaan. 

* It is difficult for the author to speak in moderate terms of the genius, talent and 
character of this great young man Thomas S. Sidney, his and Dr. Garnet's school-mate, 
companion and friend. Dr. McCune Smith, thus describes him: — "The wit, the pure 


I cannot pause to relate the incidents of this journey 
from New York to New Hampshire. You will remem- 
ber that Garnet was a cripple, weak, sickly, feeble ; but 
he had a wonderful spirit and marvelous energy and 
perseverance. The difficulties of the journey you can 
hardly imagine. On the steamboat from New York to 
Providence no cabin passage was allowed colored 
people, and so, poor fellow, he was exposed all night, 
bedless and foodless, to the cold and storm. Coaches 
then were in use, and there were no railroads ; and all 
the way» from Providence to Boston, from Boston to 
Concord, from Concord to Hanover, and from Hanover 
to Canaan, the poor invalid had to ride night and day 
on the top of the coach. It was a long and wearisome 
journey, of some four hundred and more miles ; and 
rarely would an inn or a hotel give us food, and no- 
where could we get shelter. 

Sidney and myself were his companions during the 
whole journey ; and I can never forget his sufferings — 
sufferings from pain, sufferings from cold and exposure, 
sufferings from thirst and hunger, sufferings from taunt 
and insult at every village and town, and ofttimes at 
every farm-house, as we rode, mounted upon the top 
of the coach, through all this long journey. It seems 
hardly conceivable that Christian people could thus 
treat human beings traveling through a land of minis- 
ters and churches ! The sight of three black youths, 

patriot, the almost self-taught scholar, cut off, alas ! in the very bloom of his promising 
youth." He died at the early age of 23. And it was then (in 1841) the author's melan- 
choly duty, as now in the case of his friend Garnet, to deliver before the people of New 
York the eulogy upon his life and character. 


in gentlemanly garb, traveling through New England 
was, in those days, a most unusual sight; started not 
only surprise, but brought out universal sneers and 
ridicule. We met a most cordial reception at Canaan 
from two score white students, and began, with the 
highest hopes, our studies. But our stay was the brief- 
est. The Democracy of the State could not endure 
what they called a "Nigger School" on the soil of New 
Hampshire ; and so the word went forth, especially 
from the politicians of Concord, that the school must 
be broken up. Fourteen black ooys with books in 
their hands set the entire Granite State crazy ! On 
the 4th of July, with wonderful taste and felicity, the 
farmers, from a wide region around, assembled at 
Canaan and resolved to remove the academy as a pub- 
lic nuisance! On the 10th of August they gathered 
together from the neighboring towns, seized the build- 
ing, and with ninety yoke of oxen carried it off into a 
swamp about a half mile from its site. They were two 
days in accomplishing their miserable work. 

Meanwhile, under Garnet, as our leader, the boys in 
our boarding-house were moulding bullets, expecting 
an attack upon our dwelling. About eleven o'clock 
at night the tramp of horses was heard approaching, 
and as one rapid rider passed the house and fired at it, 
Garnet quickly replied by a discharge from a double- 
barrelled shotgun which blazed away through the win- 
dow. At once the hills, for many a mile around, 
reverberated with the sound. Lights were seen in 
scores of houses on every side, and the towns and 


villages far and near were in a state of great excitement. 
But that musket shot by Garnet doubtless saved our 
lives. The cowardly ruffians dared not to attack us. 
Notice, however, was sent us to quit the State within 
a fortnight. When we left Canaan the mob assembled 
on the outskirts of the village and fired a field piece, 
charged with powder, at our wagon. 

We returned home over the Green Mountains of 
Vermont, along the valley of the Connecticut, through 
Troy, down the Hudson to New York. All through 
the route Garnet was a great sufferer ; at Troy we had 
misgivings for his life, and on the river we had to bed 
him with our coats and shade him with our umbrellas. 

We sojourned at our home a few months, when 
information was received that Oneida Institute, at 
Whitesboro, a Manual Labor Seminary, had opened its 
doors to colored boys. 

Thither we three New York boys at once repaired, 
and spent three years under the instruction of that 
master-thinker and teacher, Rev- Beriah Green. Gar- 
net graduated in 1839, and immediately afterward 
entered upon public life. 

Settling at Troy, he taught the colored school in that 
town, studying theology at the same time under the 
celebrated Dr. Beman, and acting as secretary to the 
colored Presbyterian Church. He was licensed to 
preach in 1842, and was ordained and installed the first 
pastor of the Liberty-Street Presbyterian Church, in 
that city ; and there he remained ten years, publishing, 
part of the time, a paper called the Clarion. 


At this point I enter upon a notice of the public career 
of Henry Highland Garnet. He came from Oneida 
Institute well furnished for the brilliant course which he 
ran for over forty years after his graduation; and yet it 
is nothing but duty, duty to him who cannot speak for 
himself, to state the limitations of that preparation. 

Garnet was, in every peculiarity of his mind, a splen- 
did man. As a boy at school he suffered no rivalry. 
He always stood first, and no one could surpass him. 
With a wonderful memory, with a most vivid imagina- 
tion, with strong native powers of thought, and great 
originality of mind, he bid fair, even in boyhood, to 
make one of the greatest of scholars. Alas, at fifteen 
years of age, he was a cripple ! For thirteen years 
after that he used a crutch. During these thirteen 
years he carried about with him a useless leg, which, 
night and day, caused him pain and anguish, and 
threatened his life. A few of his old school-mates are 
now living, and can tell the distressful agonies he en- 
dured all this long period. The result of all this suf- 
fering was that his education was constantly interfered 
with by long spells of sickness until 1 841, when his leg 
was amputated. How, under these circumstances, he 
did study, how he took the place he did among his 
school-mates is a marvel. Indeed the man was more 
than the scholar. Said Nathaniel Peabody Rogers* 
of him, when he was at Canaan, at the very beginning 
of his career, that he was "An enlightened and refined 
scholar, a writer and speaker of touching beauty." 

* Nat^'l Peat; idy Rogers was one of the earliest and most eminent Abolitionists 
in the State of Ne.v Hampshire; a man of genius and a most intimate friend of Wm. 


But this superiority and refinement was more the 
result of instinct and genius than it was of scholarship. 
His early, long continued illness broke up the system- 
atic training of the schools ; and so he was never the 
deep-plodding, laborious student. And yet he knew 
most everything. His originality was astonishing. 
Other eminent men of our acquaintance were, of neces- 
sity, readers, investigators, students ; Garnet, beyond 
all other men, drew from the deep wells of his own 
nature the massy stores of his thought and speech. 
He brought into public life all the largeness and riches 
of one of the rarest and most beautiful minds I have 
ever met with. I acknowledge myself, at once, unequal 
to the task of delineating the unique and peculiar 
qualities of the intellect of Henry Garnet. I can only 
set forth, in my own poor way, what impressed me 
many years ago as the chief characteristic of his mind. 
I_use the word intuition here to indicate that special 
faculty of my friend, by which, without any labored 
processes of reasoning, and free from all metaphysical 
verbiage, he invariably reached, as by a straight and 
sudden dash, the clearest conception of his argument. 
With equal facility he was always able to bring that 
conception, the main and master idea of his topic, to 
the mind of the simplest of his hearers. No matter 

Lloyd Garrison. Mr. Rogers was one of the founders and trustees of " Canaan Acad- 
emy." Soon after our arrival at Canaan he invited Garnet, Sidney and the author to 
address the Anti-Slavery Society of Plymouth, N. H., on the 4th of July, 1835. In his 
accounts cf that meeting and of the speeches then made, he makes the above lemark of 
Garnet, who was then in Lis 19th year. (See Liberator of July 25, 1835.) 


what might be the theme, he grasped it in a moment. 
As by an instinctive process he went, at once, to the 
very heart of it, and then, in a most luminous manner, 
set it before his hearers, so that no one, listening to his 
speech, could go away mystified or in doubt as to the 
cause which had been advocated by the orator, the 
grounds of that cause, and the right of that cause. He 
carried no heavy artillery into his mental exercises ; 
he did not use, he had no need to use, the exact and 
formal appliances of a logical method. With a femi- 
nine instinct, which is, indeed, the instinct of the whole 
higher class of mind, he possessed that penetrative 
quality, which is as much moral as it is intellectual, 
which leads the mind, as by a flash, to the very centre 
of its subject; and from that centre can at once return, 
and, with equal facility, circle with light and power its 
wide circumferences. Every thing in his mental pro- 
cesses was clear, methodical, perspicuous. 

Connected with this mental faculty was the great gift 
of BRILLIANCY He had an imagination of a very rare 
nature, and from this endowment sprung that high 
poetic quality which was interfused in all his efforts. 
This, too, though few are aware of it, was the original 
bent of his mind. I cannot say that he "lisped in 
numbers," for he was a few years older than myself, 
and when I first knew him I was a very little boy ; but 
the very earliest remembrance I have of his intel- 
lectual gifts was his school-boy ventures in poetry. 
And the skill, the tenderness, the exquisite beauty 
of those boyish productions charm me, even as a 


remembrance, to the present. He had a "Common 
Place Book" at Canaan in which were gathered many 
of the fine effusions of his muse, sweet and tender 
poems, which he used to read as class compositions. 
Only a few months ago, in one of our latest conver- 
sations, I besought him to gather these verses, and to 
leave something lasting behind him, either poems or 
speeches. But he knew not where they were. In his, 
as in many other such cases, 

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. 

Years have passed, I judge, since he indulged in the 
harmony of verse ; but he could, I feel assured, have 
gained distinction, if he had addicted himself to verse. 
The truth is, the orator spoiled the poet. The large 
gift of speech bestowed upon him, the strong rhetorical 
element in his nature, eclipsed, as he grew older, the 
brilliancy of the muse. And so it came to pass that 
the keen ideality of his nature ran out into the channels 
of splendid oratory. Hence the imaginative faculty 
running in this one single channel of speech, served to 
give his eloquence that peculiar splendor and finish 
which attracted the attention of the learned and 
scholarly. As by an instinct his mind ranged the fields, 
the mountains, ' the sunny glades, the glad face of 
streams and rivulets, the golden skies, the glorious 
ocean — for the elegant and the sublime. His mind 
was suffused with beauty, and thus it was that, with 
great strength, he carried into all his discourses great 
finish and refinement. Frequently the old poetic fire 


would return, and he almost spoke in numbers. Then 
it was difficult to say whether it was poetry or eloquence 
with which he delighted his audience. 

He was a great master of style — not the style which 
comes from school rhetoric ; it was the natural product 
of a mind naturally beautiful. When we were boys at 
school, before he or his school-mates knew of any such 
art as Rhetoric, it was a common saying, "Garnet is 
nothing without style." And when in the evenings we 
assembled in his room, for his room was the central 
point of attraction, sick and racked with pain as 
he was, he would rise above physical ailment, and 
delight us, hour after hour, with the choicest gems of 
eloquence and poetry, gathered from the whole field of 
literature, the outpourings, too, of his own original 
mind, expressed in the sweetest, most winning elocu- 
tion ; now interspersed with irresistable wit, and now 
moving us, boys as we were, with touching and tearful 
pathos ; for, of both these fine qualities of the orator 
he was a great master. His speeches were colored 
more or less with both wit and pathos. When I use 
the word WIT I use it in its generic sense, as including 
fun, humor, satire, anecdote, sarcasm and irony. He 
swept the whole gamut; he ranged, with wonderful 
facility, from the facetious to invective, from the light- 
est banter to terrible philippic. He was quick as a flash 
at repartee. "Would you have me," was the query of 
a disgusted and indignant white gentleman — "Would 
you have me marry a dirty, stinking, greasy, black, 
negro wench?" "No," said Garnet, with the greatest 


simplicity and politeness ; " but would you have me 
marry a dirty, stinking, greasy, white wench?" The 
man was at once dumb-founded and completely silenced. 
He was delivering a class oration in 1836, before a large 
audience, at Oneida Institute. At one of his finest 
periods a ruffianly fellow, startling the whole church, 
threw a large squash upon the stage. Garnet turned 
in a moment upon his crutch, and pointing at it, ex- 
claimed : " Thais the man's head who threw it ! " 
The whole* audience at once burst into the loudest 
cheers; and the fellow ever afterward was called 
"Squash-head Cills ! " 

From such sallies of wit he would turn, by the easi- 
est transitions, to the current of his discourse; now 
commanding his audience by argument, now captivat- 
ing them by a lofty and glowing sentiment; at one 
time subduing them by the tenderest passages, and 
then arousing them to fiery ardor by the fervency of 
his own excited feelings. 

Underlying the several qualities referred to was the 
strength of a giant, giving tone to every faculty of his 
mind. He was a man of great power, both mental and 
physical. No one could look at Henry Garnet without 
seeing at a glance that he was a strong man. After 
the amputation of his leg he developed into a new life 
of vigor and mightiness. Tall and majestic in stature, 
over six feet in height, with a large and noble head, its 
front both broad and expansive, his chest deep and 
strong, his limbs straight and perfectly moulded, his 


very presence impressed one with the idea of might 
and manliness.* 

While indeed gentleness and good humor beamed 
from both eye and countenance, it was easily seen that 
he was no child to play with. His general wont, both 
in society and on the platform, was that of sweetness 
and amiability- Indeed, with a large infusion of fun, 
he was at the same time almost womanly in temper and 
affectionateness ; but when aroused with indignation at 
wrong or tyranny, or confronted by opposition, he was 
a very lion in debate, and nothing could stand before 
him. He never allowed an antagonist to go off with 
the idea that he had been tilting with a carpet-knight. 

The man, however formidable and freighted with 
powers, found himself forced to fall back on all his 
resources in a conflict with Garnet. In some of these 
encounters, so terrible was the punishment he inflicted 
upon his opponents, that they never a second time 
attempted to confront him. Dr. James McCune Smith, 
during his day, was without doubt, the most learned 

*Dr. McCune Smith's description of Dr. Garnet will, I doubt regarded as 
quite in place here: " Here was a gentleman of splendid physique, polished manners, 
extensive learning, well up especially in English poetry; ably filling the pulpits of the 
best divines, and bearing off the laurels in eloquence, wit, sarcasm, interlarded with sub- 
duing pathos — in short a master of all the graces of rhetoric — and this gentleman, an 
African of pure lineage, with no admixture of Saxon blood as the source of his unquestion- 
able talent and genius. To be sure, there was the well-developed, nearly perpendicular 
forehead, the long, mobile eyebrows, overhanging eyes, that, prominent themselves, and 
like my Lord Stanley's, of irritable leaden hue, when in repose, seem almost hidden in the 
ambush of luxuriant lids, a large nose, like Brougham's, under muscular control, yet 
hooded as Seward's, with the short upper lip which Bulwer says is an essential to beauty, 
a wide but wtll-cut mouth, with the thin compressed lips which indicate high determina- 
tion, and a chin — ' all white leatures,' some will say; not at all; they a"e the 
features which God has stamped upon the leaders of mankind in all ages and nations," 
(Garnet's Memorail Discourse, p. 54.) 


colored man in the United States, as well as a man of 
genius and of eloquence; but he confessed that after 
one encounter with Garnet he had never seen the way 
clear to attempt another. 

With qualities such as I have described, not as yet 
fully developed, but ready and eager for use, Henry 
Garnet stepped out of Oneida Institute upon* the plat- 
form of the American Anti-Slavery Society ; and there 
he made his maiden speech ; that is, before a large and 
popular audience. Let me tell you an incident con- 
nected with that speech. 

I was the guest, last November, of a distinguished 
and learned clergyman of my own Church in New 
Jersey. He told me the following facts : " I was born," 
he said, "in the South, the son of a slaveholder. Pass- 
ing through New York in May, 1841, I read a notice 
that a black man would speak at the anniversary of 
the American Anti-Slavery Society The idea of a 
Negro making a speech was the most ludicrous thing 
imaginable, but for the sport of the thing, I said, I will 
go and hear this fellow. I had never seen a Negro 
who could read. I had not the most distant idea that 
a black man could be taught to think, to be intelligent, 
to be cultivated. I thought I should have fine fun in 
hearing something burlesque and clownish." 

" I went," he said, " to the Broadway Tabernacle, 
took my seat and waited for the speaker. Two or three 
white men spoke, and then the chairman introduced a 
tall, slender, black young man, leaning on a crutch, 
whom he announced by the name of Garnet. Dr. 


Crummell, as soon as he opened his mouth and began 
his speech I was filled with amazement ! Never in my 
life, before or since, have I heard such pure and beauti- 
ful English, such finely turned sentences, such clear and 
polished rhetoric, such lucid crystal thought. His ges- 
ticulation, tfeo, was as refined and elegant as his speech 
was chaste and manly. Never, from that day," he said, 
" have I ever had any doubts of the full capacity of 
the Negro." 

This was the beginning of a public life, never inter- 
mitted, in its outpouring of golden speech and benefi- 
cent action, from 1841 until he was laid down, worn 
and speechless, in his grave on the shores of Africa. 

He was a Presbyterian minister, pastor of a handful 
of people in the little town of Troy, N. Y He began 
life with the expectation of exclusive devotion to the 
ministerial calling. But such splendid abilities could not 
be confined to such an obscure corner. Soon his fame 
spread abroad in the city and county where he lived. 
At that time the colored people were holding their an- 
nual conventions for the purpose of securing the right 
of suffrage. Garnet at once became one of its leading 
spirits. The conventions were held in Albany, Troy, 
Schenectady and Utica, and were occasions of universal 
interest throughout the State, to both white as well as 
colored people. At these assemblages the people were 
impatient to hear the young orator, and at his every 
presence the call for Garnet would be vociferous at 
every session. 


The anti-slavery agitation, at this time, made a de- 
mand for the genius and talent of the ablest colored 
men. The demonstration, in their own person, of the 
ability of the race, was thought a needed element in the 
giant warfare then carrying on. At once there sprung- 
up, well and finely equipped, a dozen or more remark- 
able colored men, who went into the field as advocates 
and lecturers. Foremost among these were four men 
who have attained celebrity, and whose names cannot 
die in the remembrance of the black race in this country, 
nor in the annals of the republic. 

There was the fiery and impulsive Remond, as true 
and gallant a knight as ever, with unsheathed sword, 
rushed into the thickest of a battle fray, and did right 
noble service. There was our celebrated neighbour, 
then a youthful recruit, but now " the old man eloquent," 
of Anacostia,* who some of our young graduates seem 
to think a mere bagatelle, but of whom a scholar and 
divine of my own church told me the other day that he 
was the only man in America who reminded him, in his 
eloquence, of the great Prime Minister of England, 
William Ewart Gladstone. There was Samuel R. Ward, 
that mighty master of speech, that giant of intellect, 
called in his day "the ablest thinker on his legs," whom 
Charles T. Torry declared was only second in his day 
to Daniel Webster in logical power. And last, but by 
no means least, was Henry Highland Garnet. More 
restrained and less fiery and monotonous than Remond ; 
not so ponderous as Douglass ; inferior in cast-iron 

* Hon. Frederick Douglass. 


logic to Ward ; there was a salience, a variety, an intel- 
lectual lucidity, and above all a brilliancy and glowing 
fire in our friend's eloquence which gave him his special 
and peculiar place. He united the sparkling keenness 
of Tristam Burgess to the glow and exuberance of 
Henry Clay- 
He, with the others I have named, answered to the 
call of the anti-slavery leaders, and at once he shot up 
into universal favor, and shone with bright and peculiar 
lustre. The demand for him came from every quarter; 
in city, town and village, in all New York and Pennsyl- 
vania. Through the far West, delighted and wonder- 
struck audiences were enraptured by the fire and beauty 
of his genius. In numerous places the wealthy, the 
aristocratic, the very elite of American society, pro- 
slavery people as well as friends of our race, would 
come together from long distances in carriages, in carts, 
in wagons ; and in public buildings or in the open air 
hang delighted upon the lips of this great magician. 

And no wonder that it was so. To hear Garnet in 
his prime was a rare privilege and a high delight. He 
had a voice of vast compass and of the sweetest tones. 
His presence, his scrupulous neatness, his gentlemanly 
address, his deferential attitude, his fine enthusiasm 
always won his audience from the start. And then, 
when he became thoroughly warmed up to his subject 
and brought his hearers into full accord with himself, 
he carried them whithersoever he pleased. Now he 
convulsed them with laughter and filled them with de- 
light; and then by a sudden turn his entire audience 


would be bathed in tears. At one moment you would 
be carried away by the terse statement, pointed and 
accurate, as if »from the lips of a Webster, and soon 
your reason would be addressed by argument as solid 
and weighty as the utterances of a judge. Anecdote, 
incisive, sparkling, and convulsive, would be, perchance, 
the very next turn of the meandering stream ; 'and then, 
like sunlight breaking on the scene, there would be the 
sudden bursting forth of a sublime and magnificent 
passage, carrying the entire audience beyond them- 
selves, and eliciting equal astonishment and applause. 

The whole effort would generally close with a brief, 
finished, touching peroration, in which pathos and 
beauty would equally combine. Not unfrequently at 
the close of some such grand oration, amid universal 
plaudits, grand ladies, as well as the humble women of 
his own race, would shower him with flowers. 

I am speaking from my remembrance of some of his 
earliest orations ; but I was absent from the country 
from 1848 to 1873, and I am told that I never saw him 
at his best. His noblest efforts, it is said, were the 
speeches, the one in 1843, in Buffalo, at the Liberty 
Party convention, the other in 1865. 

The Buffalo speech, it is the testimony of numerous 
listeners, was equal, as an oratorical effort, to anything 
which has ever been heard on the American continent. 
No report of it was made, and we can only judge of its 
excellence by the opinion of its hearers; and that 
opinion is unanimous that nothing like it had fallen 
upon the ears of its auditory in this generation. One 


eminent and learned American* who heard that speech 
declared that it was " one of the ablest speeches that 
ever fell from human lips." Men were not simply con- 
vinced and enraptured by it; they were swept away; 
they were frenzied. Uplifted by his passionate appeals, 
convulsed by his harrowing statements, the whole multi- 
tude of people were ready at the moment to run any 
risks, to do any deeds for the freedom of man, and for 
the destruction of slavery ! 

The other memorable speech was delivered in Detroit, 
Michigan, in the winter of '65 or '66. I have not been 
able to ascertain its special topic. Less impassioned, 
it would seem, than his Buffalo appeal, addressed more 
to the reason than to the feelings of his audience, it 
must have been one of those orations which were calcu- 
lated to captivate the scholar and the thinker. The 
editor of the New York Christian Advocate^ in a recent 
number, declares that " in force of reasoning, purity of 
language, propriety of utterance, it was not unworthy 
of comparison with a sermon of Bishop Tillotson, or an 
address of George Wm. Curtis." 

This, you will observe, is an extraordinary encomium, 
one which I would not myself have ventured to make. 
Indeed, I have had misgivings that much of what I have 
said would seem to some extravagant. But here is a 
scholar and divine not likely, as I am, to be influenced 
by personal friendship ; not in danger, as an old school- 
mate, of being swayed by partiality, who compares Dr. 

"The late Dr. F. Julius Le Moyne, of Pittsburg, Pa. 
tRev. J. W. Bulkley, D. D. 


Garnet to one' of the classical pulpit orators of the 
Church of England, and to one of the most refined 
rhetoricians and acute thinkers of our own day. 

In referring thus to the nature and quality of Dr. 
Garnet's eloquence it should be borne in mind that to 
plead for men and to plead with men was his life work. 
No greater mistake can be made than to suppose that 
the oratorical function was a pastime or a matter of 
display with him. The art of speech was his " staff of 
accomplishment." And, in the use of it, no mechanic, 
no common laborer, no sailor on the high seas, was 
more assiduous and laborious. He poured out the 
strength of both body and mind in this vocation, until 
both were exhausted in the service of man. 

Let us see, for a moment, what his public life was. 

He was a minister of the Presbyterian Church, and 
pastor, all his life, of several congregations ; he was an 
anti-slavery orator; he was a foremost friend of and 
active agent for the fugitive slaves in the days of slavery ; 
he was the agent of Gerrit Smith in the disposal of his 
land-grants to the colored men of New York ; he was a 
temperance lecturer; he was a delegate to Europe in 
behalf of peace, temperance and freedom ; he was a 
missionary to the Island of Jamaica ; he was a promoter 
of African Civilization. He was one of the leading 
members of the Liberty party, and down to the time 
of his departure for Africa he was a distinguished 
leader of the great Republican party. 

In the furtherance of these grand projects Dr. Garnet 
put forth the noblest efforts. He spoke -on numerous 


occasions; he wrote letters by the hundreds; he spent 
his money ; he abounded in charities ; he traveled 
thousands of miles in his native land ; he crossed the 
ocean on more than one occasion ; he exposed himself 
to great perils; he suffered cruel assaults upon his 
person ; he was mobbed by murderous ruffians. 

Nor were his labors confined to this country. The 
fame of the orator and preacher crossed the ocean, and 
at the call of distinguished philanthropists he visited 
Great Britain in 1850. I happened at the time to be 
in England, and I assure you that the appreciation of 
him there seemed to exceed, if anything, his popularity 
in America. He spoke in almost every city and large 
town in the three kingdoms. He preached in the pul- 
pits of the most celebrated divines. He was the guest 
of great philanthropists, princely merchants, eminent 
civilians and grand noblemen. 

From England he crossed the channel, sent thence 
as a delegate to the Peace Congress at Frankfurt-on- 
the-Main; and thence, in company with the celebrated 
philanthropist, Joseph Sturge, and the equally celebrated 
Dr. Dick, he traveled through Prussia and France. 

From Europe he went, for a brief period, as a mis- 
sionary to the Island of Jamaica, W I., stationed at 
Sterling, Grange Hill, in that island. He was doing 
effective service among the black population when pro- 
tracted illness forced his return to the United States. 
And here he became at once the successor to the friend 
of his youth, Rev Theodore S. Wright. As a pastor, 
everywhere and at all times, his labors were heavy and 



incessant and they were as equally fruitful. Whether 
in Troy, Geneva, Grange Hill, Jamaica ; Washington, 
D. C., or Shiloh Church, N. Y., success always attended 
his efforts; Sunday-schools flourished, congregations 
were crowded, young men were encouraged, societies 
were established. These labours culminated during 
the anti-slavery conflict and especially on the break- 
ing out of the rebellion. Then it is recorded of him 
that he was one of the very first to call upon young 
men of color to take up arms. He became chaplain 
to a regiment of colored troops. He organized a 
committee for sick soldiers. He was the almoner of 
New York beneficence to the colored sufferers of the 

• These numerous services and large activities made 
him a prominent personage in New York city, not only 
among his own people, nor simply in his own denomi- 
nation. Amid the immense population of the Metropo- 
lis there never was a man of our race so well known 
and so popular as Dr. Garnet. The laboring classes of 
the whites, reporters for newspapers, the politicians, 
the clergy of all names, the great merchants of the city, 
the grand dames on the avenues knew him, recognized 
him and respected him. One public journal declared, 
at the time of his death, that he was ''the best known 
colored clergyman in the United States." The leading 
merchants of New York joined in the application for 
his appointment as "Minister Resident" to Liberia; 
and at his death the Presbytery of New York, of which 


he was a member, passed honorary resolutions testify- 
ing to his worth and usefulness.* 

I have spoken of the genius, the eloquence, and the 
labors of Henry Highland Garnet. Spare me a few 
moments longer, for a few words concerning the man 
himself, for a man, i. e., the personal quality of any 
human being, is always of more value than any of his 

There are two words, which I think more than any 
other, will serve to delineate his character — LARGENESS 
and SWEETNESS. I can well believe the tradition in his 
family that his ancestors were kings in Africa. Things, 
ideas of magnitude, grand prospects, seemed ever, even 
in boyhood, to occupy his mind. There was nothing 
of stint or contractedness about him. He was gener- 
cus, beneficent, unselfish, hospitable. 

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere. 

Every stranger, minister, foreigner, fugitive, refugee, 
was welcome to his board, and could command his 
purse. The great fault of his character was in this 
direction. Not merely unselfish, he lacked somewhat 
in the quality of self-love. There was a princeliness in 

* At the stated meeting of the Presbytery of New York, April ioth, 1882, the following 
resolution was adopted; — " That the Presbytery has heard with profound regret of the 
death of the Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, D. D., a member of this body, late pastor of 
the Shiloh Presbyterian Church of this city, and Minister of the United States to the Re- 
public of Liberia. His long service in the Church, his ability and fidelity as a preacher 
and pastor, the dignity, purity, and usefulness of his life, and the courage with which he 
maintained the honor of his high calling in the Church and the community, commanded 
our esteem and respect, and render his departure a real loss to this Presbytery. That his 
death as he was just entering upon his duties as Minister to Liberia, where he had a wide 
field for the exercise of his talents, and where he promised to be greatly useful, is to be de- 
plored as a calamity to that republic and to the colored race. 

That a copy of this Minute be sent to the family of Dr. Garnet, and be published. 


his largeness which not seldom landed him into poverty. 
For, like Daniel Webster, and I am speaking of no 
faultless man, he never seemed to think there were 
limitations to the boundliness of his beneficence and 
the capacity of his pocket. 

Out of this largeness sprang the bold and command- 
ing elements of his nature. He was fearless, as a lion. 
At Canaan, 400 miles from home, the whole community 
around for miles boiling over with bitterness, ready, in 
cold blood, to shoot down a few black boys who wished 
to become students, Garnet, a mere stripling, was as 
cool and determined as a sage. 

Weak, feeble, full of pain, his poor leg at the very 
time poulticed, his spirit was equal to the occasion. 
All day long, with fun, wit and humor, he was mould- 
ing bullets and at the same time cheering the hearts of 
us younger boys. And when the dark night came he, 
the captain, disposed of our little force, and sat at the 
bedside, in the most exposed room, waiting the first 
fire of the enemy. 

Just so it was amid the riots of New York in 1862. 
While everybody else was frightened and fled he stood 
at his post, the aid and succor of his people ; and it 
was only by an accident that he escaped the shooting 
or hanging of an angry mob. 

Indeed he had within him all the elements of a 
hero ; great consciousness of power, and that love of 
authority which made him in all conditions and at 
every period of his life a leader of men. Thus it was 
that for twenty years he was, what I have not heard of 


any other colored man, in any of the great cities, the 
man of New York. 

It is a most fortunate circumstance that his parents 
brought him, a child, out of slavery; equally provi- 
dential that he was crippled in his early teens. If he 
had remained in bondage he would surely have become 
a leader and fermenter of insurrection. I have no idea 
that he could ever have been made a submissive slave. 
You will be interested to hear that he was one of a com- 
pany of our school-mates in New York who at from 
thirteen to sixteen years resolved, that while slavery ex- 
isted we would not celebrate the Fourth of July ; and 
we did not. For years our society met on that day, 
and the time was devoted to planning schemes for the 
freeing and upbuilding of our race. The other resolve 
which was made was, that when we had educated our- 
selves we would go South, start an insurrection and free 
our brethren in bondage. Garnet was a leader in these 
rash but noble resolves ; and they indicate the early 
set and bias of his soul to that quality of magnanimity 
which Aristotle says " exposes one to great dangers 
and make's a man unsparing of his life;" "thinking 
that life is not worth having on some terms." 

As I have just said, sweetness, as well as largeness 
was the other great trait of his character. His social 
qualities were exceeding attractive ; and men, women 
and children were fond of gathering around him and 
enjoying the delights of his converse and the pleasures 
of his company. Naturally amiable, with large affluence 
of kindness and love, he was exceedingly popular. 


The young of both sexes delighted to come to his 
house and spend long hours in the joyous converse 
which he would pour out sparklingly, hour after hour, 
amid his friends. How beautiful, how tender, how 
gracious was he not to women ! In his relations to them 
he was beyond comparison the most accomplished, 
most Chesterfleldian person that I ever met with. Mrs. 
Julia Garnet, then Miss Williams, was a school-mate of 
ours at Canaan, New Hampshire; and after his mar- 
riage, in 1842, I was both struck and charmed with the 
same gallantry displayed to the wife after marriage 
that he had shown her before. It was his natural gentle- 
manly instinct to rise and offer a chair to the wife, that 
he was prompt to do to her as maiden and mistress. 

How sweet too he was to children. They all loved 
him ; everywhere they flocked around him ; every- 
where he was the object of their idolatry ; so great was 
the playful element in his nature, so long did he carry 
the feelings of childhood into the maturity of age, that 
children forgot his seniority and thought themselves 
for the time romping and sporting with a playfellow. 

One only task remains for me to perform. * It must 
be done, and I cannot possibly evade it. The hours of 
thij evening are passing away, and no reluctancy can 
save me the saddening duty. 

I have spoken to you of the life, the genius, and the 
labors of Henry Highland Garnet, and now I must 
speak of his decline and death. 

That decline had been manifest some five or six 
years. Gradually, during this period, his powers as a 


worker and speaker had been failing, as was evident to 
his friends, and apparent to himself. Age, excessive 
duty, the harassing cares of a poorly paid ministry; 
disease, the tardy lurking effects and influences of the 
maimed limb of his boyhood — all combined in his later 
years to reduce the vital energy of his once active 

But, besides failing health, sad misfortunes in divers 
forms fell upon him. Troubles and trials served to 
weaken and undermine the brave spirit and the strong 
constitution in which it dwelt. It is useless to attempt 
concealment. Sorrow and discouragement fell upon 
his soul, and at times the wounded spirit sighed for re- 
lease ; and the strong desire arose to escape to some 
foreign land, where, oblivious of the ingratitude and 
forgetfulness of his people, he might have a few final 
days of peace and comfort, and at last sink quietly to 
his grave. 

It happened under these circumstances that the offer 
was made him of the position of" MINISTER RESIDENT" 
to the Republic of Liberia. It came as a recognition 
of his high character, his honorable career, his splendid 
services to the cause of freedom, and his grand quali- 
ties, both intellectual and moral. It was an offer hon- 
orable to the Government which made it, and to the 
grand man to whom it was tendered. 

The offer was gladly accepted by my friend. It was 
the very thing he desired. He had long been wishing 
to see the Coast of Africa, to tread the soil of his an- 
cestors. If this public position had not been offered 


him, he would, I have no doubt, sought some other 
mode, either as a missionary or a teacher, of reaching 
the Western Coast. 

Gratifying as the offer was to him, it brought dismay 
and sorrow to a large circle of his best friends. For 
my own part, I felt it my duty to oppose its acceptance 
with candor, warmth, and decision. I had no doubt of 
its unwisdom, and I pressed my conviction very earn- 
estly upon him. 

Alas, all dissuasion was useless. " What," said he, 
"would you have me linger here in an old age of 
neglect and want? Would you have me tarry among 
men who have forgotten what I have done, and what I 
have suffered for them ! To stay here and die among 
these ungrateful people?" " No," was his ejaculation; 
" I g° gladly to Africa ! Please the Lord I can only 
safely cross the ocean, land on the coast of Africa, 
look around upon- its green fields, tread the soil of my 
ancestors, live if but a few weeks ; then I shall be glad 
to lie down and be buried beneath its sod !" 

Thus grandly, nobly did this high soul turn from 
baseness and ingratitude to a final far-distant haven of 
repose and death. 

The Lord listened to the desires of his servant. 

On the 6th of November he preached his farewell 
sermon to the people of Shiloh Church, to whom he had 
ministered twenty-six years. On the 12th of November 
he sailed for England. He sojourned there but a brief 
week, and sailed thence from London early in December, 
and landed at Monrovia on the 28th of the same month. 


For the first time in his life he had seen the conti- 
nent of Africa. He had seen the settlements from 
Goree to Liberia. He had seen the chief emporiums 
of that rising African civilization which already is blos- 
soming into beauty and fruitfulness. He had seen the 
towns and villages of the young Republic, peopled by 
his own kith and kin, emigrants from this great nation. 
He had ascended a few miles the beautiful St. Paul's, trod 
its fertile banks, and seen its active farming and indus- 
tries. He had looked around upon the land of the 
fathers, and was well pleased and declared his gratifica- 
tion. And now the time came for him to die ; and calmly, 
quietly, resignedly, he yielded up his spirit to the God 
who gave it, with an assured trust in the Redeemer, and 
with the fullest hopes of the resurrection of the just. 

They buried him like a prince, this princely man, 
with the blood of a long line of chieftains in his veins, 
in the soil of his fathers. The entire military force of 
the capital of the Republic turned out to render the 
last tribute of respect and honor. The President and 
his Cabinet, the ministry of every name, the President, 
Professors and students of the College, large bodies of 
citizens from the river settlements, as, well as the towns- 
men, attended his obsequies as mourners. A noble 
tribute was accorded him by the finest scholar and 
thinker in the nation.* Minute guns were fired at every 
footfall of the solemn procession. And when they laid 
him lowly in the sod, there was heard, on the hills, in 
the valleys, and on the waters — 

* The Rev. E. W. Blyden, D. D., LL. D. 


-The tributary peal 

Of instantaneous thunder which announced 
Through the still air the closing of the grave. 

I know the very spot where they laid him. The 
cemetery is called Palm Grove. There clusters of the 
stately palm lift up their graceful forms, and spread 
abroad their feathery tops, waving in the breeze. 

There he lies ; the deep Atlantic but a few steps be- 
yond ; its perpetual surges beating at his feet, chanting 
evermore the choral anthems of the ocean, the solemn 
requiem of the* dead. 

No marble cenotaph as yet marks the place of his 
deep repose ; but, ere long, we, in America, with his 
admirers in Europe and Africa, will erect on that West- 
ern Coast a shaft which shall fitly commemorate this 
glorious son of Africa. 

Farewell ! friend of my youth, Statesman, Poet, 
Orator, Clergyman, Philanthropist ! And yet not fare- 
well, for never can we forget thee ! Ever shaft thou be 
embalmed in our richest memories ! and thy tomb 
shall be the shrine whither perpetually our fond hearts 
shall travel, and the sons of Africa, through long 
periods, shall proudly visit. 

For, if in the future as in the past, men continue to 
prize noble gifts used for the highest purposes ; to 
honor our devoted service freely given for the main- 
tenance of truth and justice ; to applaud lofty speech 
used for the upbuilding humanity and the advancement 
of the race ; to revere pure and lofty character, a life- 
time illustration of the finest qualities of our kind, 

Then o'er his mould a sanctity shall brood, 
20 Till the stars sicken at the day of doom. 

Address before the 
American Geographical Society 

Chickering Hall, New York, May 2 2d, 187?. 


Mr. President : It is a most singular fact that now, 
in the 19th century, in an age of great practicality, we 
should be witnessing two remarkable movements, dis- 
tinguished in a very marked degree by sentiment. We 
see, on the one hand, a mighty movement of a great 
Christian nation to extinguish the sufferings of the sub- 
ject Christians of Turkey, to strike the crescent from 
the minarets of Constantinople, and to rescue St. Sophia 
from the hands of the Moslem. And, on the other 
hand, we stand at the commencement of a grand en- 
deavor of Christendom to wipe the blood from the 
bruised brow of Africa, to lift up -its vast populations 
to enlightenment, and to rescue a great continent from 
the dominion of superstition and barbarism. 

Well, sir, it would seem as though the age of chivalry 
had returned to a busy, plodding, commercial, manu- 
facturing era ; and that it is likely to give dignity to 
our age, and grandeur to its motives and its endeavors. 

I have called this movement for the benefit of Africa, 
one distinguished by sentiment, but not by mere senti- 
ment, for I regard the objects of this meeting to-night 


as thoroughly practical, deeply human, and entirely 
worthy of the age. 

It is — it should be — thoroughly human, undertaken 
with no one-sided views and purposes ; but carried on 
in a manner which shall affect all the interests of man, 
temporal as well as eternal — a movement which shall 
regard the objects of our compassion, and likewise the 
interests of all the participants in this noble scheme, in 
all the divers phases of our common humanity. 

Now, in this project the COMMERCIAL IDEA is, to a 
greater or less degree, an matter of interest and solici- 
tude. And this seems to me perfectly legitimate. I 
cannot regard it as in any way discordant with the 
sentiment which I believe is its main characteristic. 
Africa is a land of most magnificent resources. It 
abounds everywhere in its tropical regions with woods 
and dyes, and gums and minerals and oils. 

Every adventure of a new traveler results in the dis- 
covery of new staples, vast beds of ore of wide ex- 
panses of the richest and most fertije soil. And there 
are yet remaining immense and mysterious regions 
where noble herds of elephants roam undisturbed, from 
whence ere long great cargoes of ivory will be brought 
to civilized lands. 

Science is, without doubt, another special interest 
which is pressing her claims in connection with this 
philanthropic movement. Doubtless she is anxious, 
over anxious, to penetrate the hidden mysteries, both 
human and material, which for centuries have baffled 
the skill and scrutiny of the learned, from the time of 


Herodotus to the recent ventures of Livingstone, Stan- 
ley and Cameron. And her claims must be admitted, 
not only as real, but as perfectly harmonious with the 
highest moral purposes of this grand scheme. The 
MUSE OF HISTORY, with rapt gaze and ready pen, sits 
awaiting the disclosures which tradition, in many a 
heathen tribe, may furnish concerning the annuls of the 
oldest but least known of all the continents. And then, 
with equal eagerness, but with sturdy frame and fiery 
blood, there stands the SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE ready 
for the start, anxious to enter every hidden nook, and 
to penetrate every mysterions corner, to clear up every 
doubtful question, and to make every possible discovery 
the ingenious mind can reach to. 

These, sir, are some of the collateral motives which are 
more or less related to this movement, both in Europe 
and America, and which doubtless will claim a place 
right beside the highest philanthropy or the most zealous 
religionism. And all of these ideas and aspirations are 
without doubt elements in the strong convictions which 
have prompted His Majesty the King of the Belgians 
and his eminent coadjutors to this last grand endeavor 
for Africa's deliverance. Bat the mainspring of their 
action is, I am convinced, the Christian and humanita- 
rian sentiment, which craves the restoration of a con- 
tinent, but which is aware that all true and noble senti- 
ment demands the regulative direction and control of 
reasonable and thoughtful practicality. AnS I have the 
deep conviction that this " International" movement has 
its foundation in reasonable and thoughtful practicality. 


During the last hundred years there have been vari- 
ous efforts put forth by civilized Christian men for the 
regeneration of Africa. Some have been successful, 
some unsuccessful. Let me pause here for a few 
moments, and dwell upon some of these efforts. 

There have been not a few attempts of religious 
bodies, in the carrying out of which there has been the 
expenditure of vast amounts of treasure and a great 
sacrifice of life ; but which, after all, have proved fruit- 
less in results. I might spend hours here to-night in 
narrating the missions which have been established on 
the coast of Africa from the 15 th century to the 
present, not a trace of which can now be discovered. 
In these endeavors there has been no lack of zeal. 
The courage which has been displayed has been equal 
to that of martyrs. The talent — the mental genius — 
which has been connected with not a few of these 
attempts has been remarkable; and yet again and 
again they have been failures. The pestilential nature 
of the climate will not account for the entire misadven- 

Why, then, it is asked, so much failure? There is 
this notable reason to be given : men, large bodies of 
men, have been sent to Africa to save the souls of men, 
utterly regardless of their temporal needs and require- 

But there have been as well successful missionary 
enterprises in Africa, and in every case that I know of 
success has sprung from the remembrance that the 
native African is a creature compact of mind, body and 


soul ; and that you cannot benefit him spiritually by a 
forgetfulness of his temporal and bodily interests. That 
has been the secret of their success. I have but to 
refer you to the British possessions on the west coast 
of Africa as an evidence of this truth. You will doubt- 
less remember that when the English Government in 
the last century commenced its warfare against the 
Slave Trade, the policy pursued was to capture the 
slave-trading vessels on the West Coast, and carry 


them to Sierra Leone. The recaptured African was 
immediately placed under the care and instruction of 
Christian missionaries in Freetown and the other settle- 
ments ; but the English, with that strong practicality 
which is their national characteristic, endeavored simul- 
taneously with the spiritual improvement they gave 
these men, women and children, to impart to them a 
-knowledge of handicraft. Carpenters, blacksmiths, 
boat-makers, and men of other trades were brought 
from England to instruct these poor creatures. Indus- 
trial schools were organized ; model farms were estab- 
lished ; in some cases native African youth were sent 
to England ; and now, at the present day, there is 
hardly a craft or business in a civilized community 
which cannot be found skillfully carried on in their 
West African colonies, from the Gambia to Lagos. 

This has been the material basis of success in the 
missions of the Church of England and the Wesleyan 
Church in Western Africa. The native pagan has been 
taught that he must work, and not only support him- 
self, but help to support the missionary. The English 


Church missionaries, all along the coast and in the 
interior, commence their missions by practical opera- 
tions in all the spheres of action. Their endeavor is 
not simply to get a soul into heaven ; it is to make him 
a man "in all the correspondence of nature." The 
result is that their converts are never allowed to become 
mere pensioners upon societies. 

Civilizing processes accompany all the efforts which 
are made for evangelization, and mission work along 
the entire coast and far up the Niger has been a grand 
success, as well for the material, outward life of the 
native population as for their inward spiritual regenera- 
tion. There have been grand opportunities, too, which 
have been lost. I have a very great dislike to render 
blame against England in connection with her African 
policy. I dislike to make the least reflection upon 
her; but I do think she is blameworthy, especially 
with regard to two recent provinces which have been 
placed within her reach. 

Having lived on the west coast of Africa, I have 
witnessed her grand and beneficent rule; I have seen 
the spread of her civilization ; the uprising, through 
her zeal and beneficence, of fine communities to civility 
and refinement. I think she would have crowned the 
whole by one grand stroke of policy, philanthropy, and 
governmental rule, under the signally favorable circum- 
stances opened before her within the last decade. But 
she has lost the grandest opportunity she recently had of 
settling the difficulties of interior Africa, and the work 
is now left to this "African International Association." 


You all remember that in 1868 Great Britain went, 
by her armies, into Abyssinia, at eleven degrees north 
latitude, and conquered that sanguinary kingdom. 
That was the time when she might have planted there, 
permanently, at one and the same time, the red cross 
of Britain and the standard of civilization and Christi- 
anity. Believing that nations have moral duties, it 
seems to me that that was the duty of a Christian 
nation like England — to save that people from barbar- 
ism, and to add another nation to the ranks of civiliza- 
tion. But, singularly enough, only a brief period after- 
ward, that is, in the year 1874, Great Britain was forced 
by the clearest duty to enter, by her armies, on the 
opposite side of the continent, the kingdom of Ashantee. 
By a reference to the map you will see that Ashantee is 
on well nigh the same parallel of latitude. Was not 
the coincidence and Providence remarkable? And 
Great Britain, with her wondrous resources, could have 
established herself permanently in Ashantee as the 
centre of missions and trade, and thence, advancing her 
posts and authority, with rule, peace, order and justice, 
to interior tribes and nations, put an end to the internal 
distractions of the continent, gone directly across 
toward Abyssinia, and met the approaching lines, 
coming from the Indian coast. If England had done 
this great work she would have found everywhere, in 
almost every tribe, a grand instrumentality, indigenous 
to native character, furthering her beneficent efforts. 
Any people, any agency, whether governmental or mis- 
sionary, which brings simple peaceful facilities for trade 


to the native African, will always be received with 

When I had the honor, a few days ago, to address 
the American branch of the Association at your rooms, 
I remarked that the acquisitive principle is to be the 
main temporal agency in redeeming the native African 
from barbarism. He is essentially a trader; he has 
large wants ; he is not a stolid, passive, dead creature, 
as many suppose, albeit he is uncivilized. He has 
large, undefined wants, a great craving for commodi- 
ties, things which he has seen, and a curiosity and a 
desire, springing from imagination, for things which he 
has not seen. And this, as I take it, is the germ of a 
marked greatness in the native African in the future. 

And here I beg to remark that, whether you are a 
missionary or merely a civilized man, the first thing in 
entering Africa is to remember that there are two 
factors to be regarded in carrying on your work. One 
is to know what jyoit, the civilized man, can contribute 
to the work; the other, what is the contribution the 
native man can make. If the native man cannot give 
anything, depend upon it he is a dead man ! If there 
is no point of receptivity in his nature nothing can save 
him ! But greed, the acquisitive principle, is the grand 
characteristic of the native African. Here, then, is the 
point of vantage in work in Africa. The continent is a 
bee-hive. Every village is a market, and almost every 
hut in a village is a shop. Every head man, or chief, or 
king, is a merchant; and all his people, down to the 
very slaves, are hucksters or petty traders, Greed, 


inordinate, universal greed, pervades every community, 
small or large. A friend from West Africa, only a few 
weeks ago, sent me a paper which shows that from 
Freetown, Sierra Leone, no less than three (3) steam- 
ers * sailed to England within nine (9) days, carrying 
goods amounting to more than two-thirds of a million 
of dollars ($700,105). What were these commodities? 
Palm oil, palm kernels, kernels, cam-wood, ebony, ivory, 
ground-nuts, gum, barwood, beeswax, india-rubber, 
copal, bennie-seed, cotton, Shea butter, &c, &c. 

How were these commodities gathered ? In the most 
difficult manner conceivable. In huts and remote vil- 
lages, and brought, at great peril, on the backs of native 
men, twenty, thirty, forty days' journey through dense 
wildernesses, or else by hundreds of little canoes, through 
streams and rivers, to traders' ports. f 

* Exports of commerce to England in nine days in three steamers: 
The British mail-steamer " Roquette" cleared from Sierra Leone Custom-house Octo- 
ber 2, 1876, with the following: 1,600 casks palm oil; 83M tons palm kernels; 3,403 bags 
palm kernels; 266 bags bennie seed; 60 bags copra nuts; 9 bags ivory; 5,139 billets 
camwood; 2,039 billets ebony. 

The British mail steamer " Ethiopia" cleared from Sierra Leone, October n, 1876, with 
the following cargo: 698 casks palm oil; 122 casks Shea butter; 104 casks and barrels 
rubber; 18 barrels and 5 bags gum; 469 bags coffee; 1,343 bags palm kernels; 1 case 
skins; 13 parcels 30 bags ground nuts; 212 bags bennie seed; 499 pieces ivory; nTjales 
ivory; 1 box ivory; 4,080 pieces barwood ; 92S pieces ebony; 150 bales cotton; 26 pack- 
ages merchandise; 11 boxes and parcels with specie and gold dust. 

The British mail steamer " Loando" cleared from Sierra Leone with the following 
cargo: 1,103 casks palm oil; 4,069 bags palm kernels; 98 bags copra nuts; 14 bags 
Guinea grains; 14 bags ginger; 6 bags bennie seed; 960 bales cotton ; 1,586 pieces cam- 
wood; 53 of ivory; 40 tons palm kernels. 


Palm Oil, . . . $567,175 

Palm Kernels, . . 29,272 

Bennie Seed, 1,760 

Ivory, 43,525 

Camwood, . . . 2,550 

Ebony, 400 

Copra Nuts, 1,000 


Bishop Crowther, in 1872, was wrecked on the Niger, 
and after his arrival at Sierra Leone he published a 
narrative of his journey overland, from Rabba to Ab- 
beakuta, and thence to Lagos. One remarkable fact 
arrested my attention : it was, that in that moving from 
town to town, in this purely pagan district, 400 miles 
from the coast, he found many native African traders 
from Sierra Leone, Christian men, pushing their trade 
in perfect safety among the rude inland people; but 
meeting together on Sundays for Bible reading, prayer 
and praise. 

Why, then, you ask, if the love of trade is such a 
strong passion in the breast of native Africans, why 
does not trade and commerce work out their own re- 
medial processes? From the simple fact that trade 
everywhere meets with the interruptions of selfish men, 
who blindly, through excessive greed, overreach them- 

Guinea Grains, $224 

Ginger, 108 

Cotton i3>84o 

Shea Butter, . . . 24,400 

Rubber, i>954 

Gum, 276 

Coffee, 13,122 

Barwood, 500 

Total, $700,105 

t Exportations from West Africa in the year 1874: — 

Palm Oil $875,000 

Palm Kernels, 71,000 

Camwood, .......... 90,000 

Ebony, 90,000 

Ivory 32,000 

Ground Nuts, 1,500,000 

Ginger, 24,000 

Rubber, 55»5°o 

Gold, ........... 96,000 

Total $11,212,000 

There are (20,) twenty British mail steamers that ply between Liverpool, Glasgow, 
and the West Coast of Africa. The exportation last year (1876) exceeded $20,000,000 
(twenty million dollars). 


selves. Greed in the native African is too absorbing, 
one-sided, unintelligent a principle. For, (i) the 
native kings are ignorant, heathen men, thoroughly 
selfish, and ready to fight their neighbors in order to 
prevent them from sharing the advantages of trade. 
They have never learned that the greater the freedom 
of trade the greater the advantages to themselves and 
their neighbors. Acting on the opposite principle, 
they keep up perpetual fights, tribe with tribe, nation 
with nation ; so that, for long periods, trade is brought 
entirely to an end, and large populations are made 
sufferers. And next (2) there is the grand disturbing 
element, the malign and destructive influence of the 
Moslems. They are the grand marauders in almost 
every part of Africa, north, east, south, and west. 

Everywhere they are the great slave-traders. Through 
the largest tracts of territory, across vast provinces in 
the interior, their tracks are marked by blood and de- 
vastation. I know it is claimed that the Mohammedans 
are great civilizers in Africa ; that their religion serves 
to supersede the fetichism and the idolatry of pagan 
tribes, by carrying with them the doctrine of the Divine 
Unity, and propagating the Koran. And many people 
are foolish enough to believe this. But the unanimous 
testimony of travelers and missionaries is that they care 
more for the sword and the mastery it gives them than 
for any purposes of civilization. All the good they do 
is but incidental. While they may furnish a small 
modicum of enlightenment, they flood the continent 
everywhere with oceans of disaster, ruin, and blood- 


shed. What, then, is needed for the restoration of 
Africa, for the introduction of peaceful trade, elevating 
missions, progressive civilization? 

Africa needs some grand master influences to correct 
all these evils. She needs a power brought from some 
quarter which shall give easy access to trade and barter 
in the interior, and prevent the constant disturbance of 
petty chiefs. She needs an authoritative force that shall 
hold in check the disturbing influence of blind, insensate 
greed, and yet, at the same time, furnish the native 
ordinary facilities for gratifying his strongest desires. 
Africa needs, in a word, a grand POLICE FORCE all over 
the continent, restraining violence, keeping open grand 
avenues of commerce, affording protection to mission- 
aries and travelers, protecting weak tribes and nations 
from powerful marauding chiefs. 

The proposal of the King of the Belgians I regard 
as eminently practical, both with respect to the physi- 
cal and the moral needs of the continent. It brings 
the moral support of the greatest nations of the earth 
to this grand moral effort. The expeditions which 
shall be sent from both the east and the west coasts of 
Africa will carry, doubtless, the flags of their respective 
nationalities. Already the native chiefs in the interior 
have learned to respect and know the significance of 
these banners of great peoples. Those of you who 
have read the travels of Werne, and Barth, and Krapt, 
of Richardson and Vogel, know how, far away up the 
Nile, at Khartoom, and Kardofan, and cities still more 
remote, the British Consuls, by their national flag, have 


not only commanded respect, but have given protection 
to many a European traveler. Just this commanding 
influence, more powerful perhaps than the armed men 
who will push these posts and expeditions through the 
country, will be felt through many a tribe and nation, 
over vast districts ; sustaining missions, and accelerat- 
ing the movements of traders, travelers, and "civilizers, 
and furthering all the purposes and plans of improve- 

For these reasons, sir, I rejoice in this movement. 
I have the largest expectations of good and beneficence 
from its operations. I have the most thorough con- 
viction of its need, its wisdom, and its practicality. At 
the same time I am not sanguine enough to suppose 
that all its grand results will be immediate, or that it 
can arrive at all its gracious ends void of disaster. In 
a large scheme like this, obstacles are sure to arise. 
Difficulties, complications, nay, even death may be ex- 
pected. Just such melancholy issues are always to be 
looked for in every vast and comprehensive scheme of 

But I feel that this is the grand, final, effective effort, 
which will usher in the regeneration of that continent. 
And if it do but succeed, then the dawn of her civiliza- 
tion shall be seen at an early period, in all her quarters. 
Schools for little children shall be filled, their eager, 
joyous minds craving the enlightenment which comes 
from letters. Agriculture shall change the wild sur- 
face of vast regions of the most fertile lands, with a 
most marvelous easiness, and turn them into Edens of 


productiveness and wealth. Trades and HANDICRAFT 
shall be introduced among millions of unemployed 
people, thus replacing comfort and personal property 
for degradation and barbarism. COMMERCE shall bear 
the crude, untold wealth of the tropics to foreign lands, 
and bring back in return the costly fabrics, the im- 
proving machines, and the civilizing commodities which 
impel a people along the lines of superiority and eleva- 
tion. Art shall multiply its blandishments, 

" To soften the rude and calm the boisterous." 

And far above them all, RELIGION shall exert its re- 
generating influence in millions of souls, changing every- 
where the face of society ; building up families, recon- 
structing nations, diffusing the blessings of peace, giving 
universal freedom to millions of slaves, elevating woman, 
and erecting the spires of churches on every hill-top 
and through all the valleys of that benighted continent. 

It was a remark of the great William Pitt: "We 
may live to behold the nations of Africa engaged in the 
calm occupations of industry, and in the pursuit of a 
just and legitimate commerce; we may behold the 
beams of science and philosophy breaking in upon their 
land, which at some happier period, in still later times, 
may blaze with full lustre, and joining their influence to 
that of pure religion, may illuminate and invigorate the 
most distant extremities of that immense continent." 

This brilliant vision never met the eyes of the great 
British statesman, nor any of his contemporaries. It 
has baen postponed to an era far distant from his day 


and time. But, sir, only let this grand movement be 
fully carried out, and I believe that there are people of 
this present generation who shall witness this noble 
imagination realized along the whole line of the coast 
of Africa and throughout all its broad central regions. 



A Sermon, preached in St. Luke's Church, Washington, D. C, 

September Jjth, 1886. 


That the soul should be without knowledge is not good. — Prov. g: 12. 

To-MORROW morning we shall witness the reopening 
of the public schools and the beginning of another 
year's school session. As the training and instruction 
of our children is a matter of very great interest and 
importance, I am glad of the opportunity to say a few 
words upon the whole subject of Common-School 

I need not pause to explain the special significance 
of the text. It is so plain and apparent that even the 
youngest can readily take it in, and you, who are their 
elders, have years ago become familiar with its point 
and power. 

It has had during the last few years a special and 
peculiar influence upon us as a people. Rarely in the 
history of man has any people, "sitting in the region 
and shadow of death" — a people almost literally en- 
veloped in darkness — rarely, I say, has any such 
people risen up from their Egyptian darkness with such 
a craving for light as the black race in this country. 


It has been almost the repetition of the Homeric inci- 
dent: — 

Dispel this gloom — the light of heaven restore — 
Give me to see, and Ajax asks no more. 

Almost universal ignorance was the mental condi- 
tion of the race previous to emancipation. Out of mil- 
lions of people, not more than 30,000 were allowed an 
acquaintance with letters. To-day, hundreds of schools 
are in existence, and over a million of our children are 
receiving the elements of common-school education. 

The point of interest in this grand fact is that this 
intellectual receptivity was no tardy and reluctant fac- 
ulty. Albeit an ignorant people, yet we did not need 
either to be goaded or even stimulated to intellectual 
desire. There was no need of any compulsory laws to 
force our children into the schools. No ; the mental 
appetite of the Negro was like the resurrection of 
nature in the spring-time of the far northern regions. 
To-day, universal congelation and death prevail. To- 
morrow, the icy bands of winter are broken and there 
is a sudden upheaval of dead, stolid rivers. The living 
waters rush from their silent beds and sweep away 
formidable barriers, and spread abroad over wide and 
extensive plains. 

This craving of the appetite for letters and knowl- 
edge knows no abatement. Everywhere throughout 
the nation there still abides this singular and burning 
aptitude of the black race for schools and learning. 

I am proud of this vast and ardent desire of the race ; 
for the brain of man is the very first instrument of 


human achievement. Given, a cultivated and elastic 
brain, and you have the possibility of a man, and, with 
other qualifications and conditions, the probability of 
almost a demi-god. Take away the trained and culti- 
vated intellect, and you get the likelihood of an animal, 
and, possibly, of a reptile. 

But while I rejoice in the wide spread of lettered 
acquaintance among us, I cannot close my eyes to a 
great evil which has been simultaneous with the increase 
of our knowledge. This evil is becoming so alarming 
that I feel it a duty to call the attention of both parents 
and children to it. The evil itself I call Disproportion ! 
It is that which we mean when we have an excess of 
somewhat that is pleasing, with a loss of what is con- 
venient and substantial. We are all apt then to say 
that it is "too much of a good thing." The like one- 
sidedness discovers itself among us in our common- 
school education. Too many of our parents are ruin- 
ing their children by this error. 

They crave an excess of one kind of education, and 
at the same time neglect important elements of another 
and quite as important a kind. This sad fact suggests 
as a theme for consideration to-day " COMMON Sense 
in Common Schooling." The subject presents itself 
in the two topics, i. e. } the excess and the defect in the 
training of our youth. 

(i) Education as a system in our day divides itself 
into two sections, which are called, respectively, the 
higher and the lower. The former pertains to classical 
learning, i. e. t Latin and Greek, Science, and Art, in 

330 Africa And America. 

which latter are included music, drawing, and painting. 
It is with regard to the higher education that I feel 
called upon to express my fears and to give my counsel. 
I fear we are overdoing this matter of higher learn- 
ing. Everywhere I go throughout the country I dis- 
cover two or three very disagreeable arid unhealthy 
facts. I see, first of all, (a) the vain ambition of very 
many mothers to over-educate their daughters, and to 
give them training and culture unfitted for their posi- 
tion in society and unadapted to their prospects in life. 
T see, likewise, too many men, forgetful of the occupa- 
tions they held in society, anxious to shoot their sons 
suddenly, regardless of fitness, into literary characters 
and into professional life. This is the first evil, (b) 
Next to this I have observed an ambition among the 
youth of both sexes for sesthetical culture ; an inordi- 
nate desire for the ornamental and elegant in education 
to the neglect of the solid and practical. And (c), 
thirdly, to a very large extent school children are edu- 
cated in letters to a neglect of household industry. 
Scores of both boys and girls go to school. That is 
their life business and nothing else ; but their parents 
neglect their training in housework, and so they live in 
the streets, axid during the first twelve or fourteen years 
of their life are given to play and pleasure. And (cf), 
lastly, our boys and girls almost universally grow up 
without trades, looking forward, if they do look forward, 
many of them, to being servants and waiters ; and 
many more, I am afraid, expecting to get a living by 
chance and hap-hazard. 

common Sense iN common schooling. 331 


Doubtless some of you will say that the colored 
people are not the only people at fault in these respects ; 
that the American people, in general, are running wild 
about the higher culture — are neglecting trades and 
mechanism, and are leaving the more practical and 
laborious duties of life to foreigners. Grant that this 
is the case ; but it only serves to strengthen the allega- 
tion I make that we, in common with American people, 
are running into an excessive ambition for the higher 
culture to the neglect of industrial arts and duties. I 
go into families. I ask parents what they are prepar- 
ing their children for, and the answer I frequently 
receive is : " Oh, I am going to send my son to col- 
lege to make him a lawyer, or the daughter is to go to 
the East or to Europe to be made an accomplished 
lady." Not long ago I met an old acquaintance, and, 
while talking about the future of her children, I in- 
quired: "What are you going to do with — I will call 
him 'Tom?'" Tom is a little fellow about fourteen 
years old ; by no means a genius ; more anxious about 
tops and taffy and cigarettes than about his books ; 
never likely, so far as I can see, to set the Potomac on 
fire. Her answer was that his father proposed sending 
him to college to make him a lawyer. On another 
occasion I was talking to a minister of the Gospel about 
his daughters, and he was anxious to send his two girls 
to Belgium to be educated for society ! Not long ago 
an acquaintance of mine told me that his sons should 
never do the work he was doing. He was going to 
educate one to be a doctor, another to be a lawyer, and 


the third he hoped to make a minister. I must give 
him the credit that when I had pointed out the danger 
of ruining his sons by this over-education, and that this 
sudden rise from a humble condition might turn them 
into lazy and profligate spendthrifts, he listened to me, 
and I am glad to say he took my advice. He is now 
giving them his own trade, and I think they are likely 
to become quiet and industrious young men. 

Let me not be misunderstood. I am not only not 
opposed to the higher culture, but I am exceedingly 
anxious for it. We must have a class of trained and 
superior men and women. We must have cultured, 
refined society. To live on a dead level of inferiority, 
or to be satisfied with the plane of uniform mediocrity, 
would be death to us as a people. 

Moreover we need, and in our blood, the great 
molders and fashioners of thought among us. To dele- 
gate the thinking of the race to any other people would 
be to introduce intellectual stagnation in the race ; and 
when thought declines then a people are sure to fall 
and fade away. 

These, then, are the most sufficient reasons for a 
large introduction among us of the highest training 
and culture. But this is no reason or excuse for dis- 
proportion or extravagance. Culture is a great need; 
but the greater, wider need of the race is industry and 
practicality- We need especially multitudinous arti- 
zans, and productive toil, and the grand realizations of 
labor, or otherwise we can never get respect or power 
in the land. 


And this leads me next to the other topic viz., the 
employments and occupations of industrial life. Here 
we encounter one of the most formidable difficulties of 
our civil life in this country. The state of things in 
this regard is an outrage upon humanity ! And I pro- 
test, with all my might, against the mandate of the 
"Trades' Unions," which declare "You black people 
must be content with servant life!" I say that this 
race of ours should demand the right to enter every 
avenue of enterprise and activity white men enter. 
They should cry out, too, against our exclusion from 
any of the trades and businesses of life. But with all 
this remember that no people can all, or even many of 
them, become lawyers, doctors, ministers, teachers, 
scholars ! No people can get their living and build 
themselves up by refined style and glittering fashion or 
indulgence in bellelettres. 

No people can live off of flowers, nor gain strength 
and robustness by devotion to art. 

And it is just this false and artificial tendency which is 
ruining colored society almost everywhere in the United 
States. It is especially so in the large cities. The 
youth want to go, to school until they are nineteen or 
twenty years of age. Meanwhile, the book-idea so pre- 
dominates that duty and industry are thrown into the 
shade. Mothers and fathers work hard to sustain their 
children. After awhile the children look with con- 
tempt upon their unlettered, hard-handed parents, and 
regard them as only born for use and slavish toil. Is 
this an exaggeration? Have you not seen some of 


those fine young ladies, whose mothers sweat and toil 
for them in the wash-tub or cook in the kitchen, boast- 
ing that they can't hem a pocket handkerchief or cook 
a potato? Have not you seen some of these grand 
gentlemen who forget the humble parents who begot 
them, forget the humble employments of those parents, 
turn up their noses at the ordinary occupations of the 
poor race they belong to, and then begin the fantastic 
airs of millionaires, while they don't own ground enough 
to bury themselves in ? 

You say, perchance, "Such girls and boys are 'sil- 
lies,'" and that their brainless folly is no reason why 
the higher education should not be given in all the 
schools. It is just here I beg to differ with you. I 
maintain that parents should exercise discrimination in 
this matter. They have no right to waste time and 
expense upon incapable girls and boys. They have no 
right to raise up a whole regiment of pretentious and 
lazy fools to plague society and to ruin themselves* 
They have no right to send out into the world a lot of 
young men and women with heads crammed with 
Latin, Greek, and literature; with no heart to labor; 
with hands of baby softness ; interested only in idle- 
ness, and given to profligacy and ruinous pleasure. 
And just this, in numerous cases,, is the result of this 
ambitious system of education in this land. We are 
turning out annually from the public schools a host of 
fine scholars, but not a few of them lazy, inflated, sense- 
less, sensual ! Whole shoals of girls bating labor, 
slattern in habits, and at the same time besoan^led 


With frippery, devoted to dress, and the easy prey of 
profligate men ! And lots of young men utterly in- 
different to the fortunes of their families and the in- 
terests of their race ; not thoughtless and heedless, like 
foolish girls, but scores of them thoroughly unprinci- 
pled and profligate ! 

They live for to-day, but . the life they live is for 
sensual delight, and the culture they have gained is 
spent in skillful devices to administer to the lusts of the 
flesh. This I am constrained to say is the result of the 
higher education in well nigh half of the colored youth 
who graduate from high schools and colleges, and it is 
ruinous to our people. 

You ask me the remedy for this great evil. My 
answer is by avoidance of the excess which I have 
pointed out and the adoption of the ordinary common- 
school education. Shun disproportion. Hold on to 
the higher education, but use it only in fit and excep- 
tional cases. If you have a son or a daughter burning 
with the desire for learning, give that child every possi- 
ble opportunity. But you see the condition I present, 
viz., that it burns with intellectual desire. But how often 
is this the case? The difficulty in the matter is that 
parents themselves are to blame for the miscarriage of 
their children's education. Everybody now-a-days is 
crazy about education. Fathers and mothers are 
anxious that their children should shine. However 
ordinary a boy or girl may be, the parents want them 
to be scholars. The boy may be a numbskull, the girl 
a noodle, The % fond parent thinks the child a prodigy ; 


stimulates its ambition, gives it indulgence, saves it from 
labor, keeps it at school almost to its majority, and 
then, at last, it finds out that the child has no special 
talent, dislikes labor, is eager for pleasure, dress, and 
display, is selfish and cruel to its parents, unable to 
earn its own living, and expects father and mother to 
drudge for its support and vanity. I am sure that you 
all know numerous cases of such failure and ruin. 

And it all comes from a neglect of a few plain 
common-sense rules which belong naturally to the 
subject of education. 

Let me briefly set before you some of these rules : 

First of all, secure for your children an acquaint- 
ance with reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography. 
When well grounded in these studies, which is ordi- 
narily at 12 or 13, then ascertain whether your children 
are fitted for the higher branches. If you yourself are 
educated, form your own judgment; if not, get the ad- 
vice of a well-qualified friend, or the opinion of your 
minister, or take counsel of the child's schoolmaster. 
If convinced that the child gives promise of superiority, 
keep it at school, give it the best opportunities, and 
labor hard to make your child a thorough scholar. 

(2.) On the other hand, if you find your child has 
but ordinary capacity, take it from school and put it 
at an early day to work. If you don't you will not 
only waste time but you are likely to raise up a miser- 
able dolt or a lazy dandy. Such a child, brought up 
to fruitless inactivity, dawdling for years over unappre- 
ciated culture, will, likely as not, never want to work 


for his living, may turn out a gambler or a thief, and 
in the end may disgrace your name or break your heart. 
Don't keep your children too long at school; don't 
think too much about the book and so little about 
labor. Remember that the end of all true education is 
to learn to do duty in life and to secure an _ honorable 
support and sustenance. 

And here (3) let me press upon you the importance 
of training your children in industrial habits at home 
during the period of their school life. Going to school 
should never prevent a girl from learning to sew, to 
cook, to sweep, bed-making, and scrubbing the floor ; 
nor a boy from using a hammer, cleaning the yard, 
bringing in coal, doing errands, working hard to help 
his mother, or to assist his father. Home work, more- 
over, is the natural antidote to the mental strain, and 
ofttimes the physical decline which, in these days, comes 
from the excess of study, which is the abnormal feature 
of the present school system. 

From labor health, from health contentment flows. 

If you begin your child's school life by the separa- 
tion of books and learning from manual labor, then you 
begin his education with poison as the very first por- 
tion of his intelligent life ! He had better a deal be 
ignorant and industrious than lettered and slothful, 
and, perchance, a beggar ! Laziness and learning are 
as incongruous as a "jewel in a swine's snout," and few 
things are so demoralizing to the young. Witness the 
large numbers of lettered youth and young men, fresh 



from schools, academies, and colleges, who fill the 
jails and prisons of the country, and then think of the 
large and more skillful numbers outside who ought, in 
justice, to be companying with those within. Nothing 
is more contemptible than the crowds of these dandaical 
" Clothes-bags," — for they deserve no better title, one 
sees in our large cities, who have, indeed, the varnish 
of the schools and literature, but who lack common 
sense, full of vanity and pretense, poisoned with lust 
and whisky, and, while too proud and too lazy to work, 
get their living by vice and gambling. This abuse of 
learning, however, is not confined to men. Alas ! that 
it must be acknowledged, we have all over the land 
scores of cultured young women in whose eyes labor is 
a disgrace and degradation, who live lives of lazy cun- 
ning or deception, or plunge determinedly into lust and 
harlotry. And the poor old fathers and mothers who 
toiled so painfully for their schooling, and hoped such 
great things for their daughters, have been cast down to 
misery and despair, or else have died broken-hearted 
over their daughters' shame and ruin. And in every 
such case how sad the reflection : " O, that I had been 
wise with my child ! O, that I had scouted her false 
notions about style and elegance ! O, that I had been 
more anxious to make her industrious and virtuous ! 
Then all this anguish and distress would never have 
fallen upon me!" Such cases of folly have their les- 
sons for all of us who are parents. May Almighty God 
make us both wise in our generation, and prudent and 
discreet with our children. 


The words I have spoken this day have sprung from 
two or three deep convictions which I am sure are 
thoroughly scriptural and true, and which, I think, may 
rightly close this discourse : 

1. The first of these is that children are neither toys 
nor playthings, such as are embroidery and jewels and 
trinkets. They are moral and spiritual beings, en- 
dowed with conscience and crowned with the principle 
of immortality- You may toy and play with your 
trinkets, but you are accountable to God for the soul, 
the life, the character, and the conduct of your child. 
Hence duty and responsibility are the two paramount 
considerations which are to be allied with the entire 
training of your children, whether at home or in their 
school life. 

2. Children are trusts for the good and health of 
society and the commonwealth. The law don't allow 
you to poison the air with filth and garbage, and for 
the simple reason that as a householder you are a trus- 
tee for your fellow-creatures. But in the regards of 
your children you are, in a far higher sense, a trustee 
for your fellow-creatures around you. What right have 
you to send forth from your threshold a senseless fool, 
full of learning it may be, but with no sense, no idea of 
responsibility for anybody, impudent to old people, a 
rowdy in God's Church, a rioter, a gambler, a rake? 
Ought not the culture you have toiled to give him serve 
to make him modest, a mild-mannered man, a stay to 
his humble toilsome parents, a useful man in society, a 
thrifty and productive citizen in the community? And 


was it not your duty, all his life long, to strive to real- 
ize such a large and high-souled being as the fruit of 
your family life and training? 

Or, if perchance it is a girl, what right have you to 
send forth into the world a lazy, impertinent creature, 
bedecked and bejeweled indeed ; full, perchance, of 
letters and accomplishments, but with no womanly 
shame ; brazen with boldness ; lazy as a sloth, and, yet, 
proud, pretentious, crazy for ruinous delights; swept 
away by animal desires ; alien from domestic duties, 
and devoted to pleasure? Go to, now. Is this the fruit 
of your vineyard? When God and man, too, look that 
it should bring forth grapes, will you only thrust upon 
us such wild grapes? 

You have no such right ! You are a trustee for so- 
ciety, and you should take a pride in rearing up orna- 
ments for society — "Sons," as the psalmist describes 
them, " who may grow up as the young plants ; " " daugh- 
ters, as the polished corners of the temple." Just such, 
I am proud to say, as I see in many of your own fami- 
lies in this church, whose children are intelligent, 
scholarly, and, at the same time, virtuous, modest, 
obedient, and industrious. God's holy name be praised 
for such children, such parents, such godly families ! 
May God, for Jesus' sake, multiply them a hundred fold 
in all our communities ! 

3. Join to this, thirdly, the most solemn of all con- 
siderations, i. e., that your children are the servants of 
the most high God. " All the souls are mine," says 
the Almighty. God made them and sent them into 


the world. He it is who places living souls in the 
family, in human society, in the nation, in the church, 
for His own. honor and glory. Not for mere pastime, 
for trifling, or for pleasure are human beings put amid 
the relations of life. -We are all God's property — our 
children and ourselves — for God's service and His 
praise. Beloved, accept this grand prerogative of your 
human existence ; train your children for godly uses in 
this world; train their minds by proper schooling; 
their bodies by industry ; their immortal souls by teach- 
ing, catechising, and family devotion, so that they may 
glorify God in their bodies and their spirits ; and then 
God will give you family order and success in this 
world ; your children honor and blessing by the Holy 
Ghost ; and everlasting light shall be the inheritance of 
your seed, and your seeds' seed from generation to 
generation on earth ; and glory, honor, and peace, at 
the last, in the Kingdom of Heaven above ! 

an End of the Trained Intellect. 

An Address to the Graduating Class of the High School, 
Washington, D. C, June 6th. 1884. 


YOUNG LADIES : Two nations of antiquity have often 
in your school life been brought before you, distin- 
guished respectively, the one for excellence and the 
other for practicality. The Greeks stand for in human 
history pre-eminently as the type of culture and refine- 
ment. The Romans, down to our day, are the standard 
of the practical, the people who surpassed all others in 
the expression of the principle of utility. 

These two ideas may be taken as representing the 
two prime ends of human training and education. 

You are now on your passage from the High School 
to the broader field and the more responsible duties of 
the Normal School. So well have you acquitted your- 
selves in this lower plane of study that the officers of' 
these schools are glad to tender you the cordial invita- 
tion — "Come up higher!" And so the doors of a 
higher Academy stand open before you, its accom- 
plished Principal both anxious and ready to welcome 
you. And here you will find the many facilities for 
gaining a wider acquaintance and a more advanced 


At just this stage of life it seems to me both fit and 
advisable, to call your attention to the fact, that ex- 
cellence and utility are the special objects of your school 
life ; and also to point out to you their relative place 
and importance. 

I shall dwell but briefly upon the principle of utility, 
for the reason that it is not just now the immediate end 
of your training. There is a time for everything, and 
the wisdom of man in all ages has made youth the time 
of preparation as a means to a distant end. 

If we wish to make our existence a full, complete, 
and rounded thing it becomes us to have everything in 
its own order. School life is first in order, a prepara- 
tory stage, which is both designed and fitted to reach 
over to active duty, by and by," in the relations of life. 
And although it is inevitable that we shall, please God 
we live, be busy workers in the trades, crafts, callings, 
service of human life, the very first thing for young 
people, is the proper moulding and fashioning of their 
nature and the training of their faculties, that they may 
gain such suppleness, force and endurance as may fit 
them for any and all the demands of duty and respon- 

You will remember just here that utility, though 
somewhat crude and homely, compared with excellence, 
is the end and object of life. For doing duty, accom- 
plishing work, applying knowledge to useful ends, carry- 
ing on enterprises in the world ; all this is the work of 
life. And it is something wider, broader and higher 
than culture, grand, necessary and beautiful as culture 


is. For utility in life is that which must be, even if we 
have to dispense with culture. And hence we see that 
although excellence is more beautiful, and has indeed 
the primary place, yet utility is the grander, for it is the 
necessary, nay the absolute, object of our being. Ex- 
cellence is a means, an instrument. Excellence is that 
which gives finish, majesty, glory and strength to life 
in all its relations. But men can live without it. Men 
have lived without it ; nay men have lived mightily, 
masterly, yes, even prodigiously without it. The colos- 
sal empires of the ancient world wrought without it, 
and, made grand contributions to the sum of human 
good. Human history would be incomplete without 
the annals of such barbaric States as Assyria, Babylon 
and Egypt in the old world and the Aztecs in this. So, 
# too, great men, devoid of excellence, men uncivilized 
and rude, have done nobly the work of life and left be- 
hind them abiding influences and lasting results. Great 
would have been the loss to humanity if such men as 
Constantine and Charlemagne and Peter the Great, and 
Touissant L'Ouverture had neyer lived. 

And so you see that culture and refinement, although 
they be most valuable things, are not entirely indis- 
pensable to human advancement. 

Nevertheless who will compare crude Babylon with 
the accomplished Greece? Who will put austere and 
unadorned Sparta beside polished Athens ? Who will 
name El-Mahdi of the Soudan with Gladstone or our 
George William Curtis ? 


We cannot then reject utility. We cannot disregard 
the practical, for it contains the substance and reality 
of our life. Nevertheless we must extol, cherish and 
reach forth for excellence, not so much for itself, as for 
the facile use of powers it gives us in the duties of life ; 
for the completeness which it bestows upon our being ; 
for the skill it imparts to our faculties ; for the finish, 
grace, and polish with which it will invest our life. 

I have spoken in such general terms of excellence 
that perchance some may desire something more of 
definiteness concerning it. What, you demand, what 
do you mean by excellence? 

Let me set before you the idea that fills my own 
mind in speaking of it. I mean by excellence that 
training by which the intellectual forces are harmo- 
niously developed, and reason and imagination are given 
their rightful authority. I mean that discipline which 
enables one to command his own powers, and then to 
use them with ease and facility- I mean that style of 
education which puts us in the centre, and affords the 
soul the widest circumference of nature and humanity, 
of knowledge and letters. I mean that instruction 
which gives the faculties strength and skill, sharpness 
and dexterity, force and penetration. I mean that 
schooling which puts disdain within us for the gross 
and ignoble, and saturates our whole being with 
burning desires for things that are noble, lofty, and 

The elements of this quality of excellence are self- 
possession, exactness, facility, taste. 

address. 349 


I use the word self-possession more in its literal mean- 
ing than in the sense of usage. I mean by it that power 
which a true education gives one of holding, using, and 
managing his own faculties with a like facility with 
which a horseman uses his bridle, or a sailor the helm. 
Multitudes of well-learned people have neither the 
knowledge of their capacity nor command • of their 
powers. Well freighted indeed with learning, they have 
never gained a clear acquaintance with their own forces 
nor of their fitness to definite ends. It is one of the 
highest of accomplishments for men to know their own 
inward resources ; to know what they can do with those 
resources ; to know just the way to do the work set be- 
fore them; and to know how to do that work with 
skill and effect. 

When I speak of exactness I refer to veraciousness. 
There is, it is true, no such thing as perfectness or in- 
fallibility of intellect. " Homerus dormit," says Horace. 
Shakespeare committed the greatest of anachronisms. 
Milton was slipshod in both his Scripture and theology. 
Even the accurate Macaulay made mistakes. Never- 
theless all true scholarship ends in truth, from the 
simple recital of the numeration, table by a five-year- 
old youngster to the calculations of an Adams or a Le- 
verier. Accuracy and precision in your intellectual 
ventures are not only scholarly traits ; they are virtues. 
They give assurance of character. Wherever they dis- 
cover themselves people feel they can rely upon their 
possessors. It is not a matter of importance that you 
should remember everything, for that is an impossibility 


for both angel and man. But if you will determine to 
know a few things, and to know them thoroughly, down 
to the point of nicety and precision, you will do a most 
masterly thing for your intellect, and you will be made 
effective in influence upon the minds of men. You will 
do well, therefore, to learn at an early day the value of 
accuracy. If you work out a problem see that it is 
done strictly in accordance with rule. If you memorize 
a poem, give it precisely as it was written, taking no 
liberties with the text. If you make an historical refer- 
ence quote from the most truthful history. Be sure of 
your numbers in giving statistics. Strive to be accu- 
rate in dates. If you are studying science see that you 
are grasping facts, and not rely upon speculation and 
fancy. Don't come forth at any time slatternly, with a 
torn gown and slippers down at the heel. Be neat, tidy 
and thorough in all your intellectual duties. 

Next in importance to accuracy comes facility. For, 
in this busy, stirring world where nobody waits for his 
neighbor, it is desirable that you should aim at a certain 
measure of quickness and celerity. Error moves with 
swift feet ; and hence truth should never be lagging be- 
hind. She should always be first in the field. Culti- 
vate, as much as possible, together with the habit of 
exactness, the other habit of promptness and speed. 
You can do it; any one can do it; for it depends not 
so much upon breadth and weight of intellect, as it 
does upon application and practice. Besides it is the 
nature of the mind to be alert in all its movements. 
The mind of man is instinctively, and by the laws of its 



being, a Pegasus. It is then a work not against, but 
most strictly in accordance with nature, to carry on our 
mental operations with zeal and alacrity. The lines of 
Cowper are simple ones, but true and significant: — 

" How swift is a glance of the mind ! 

Compared with the speed of its flight, 
The tempest itself lags behind 

And the swift-winged arrows of light." 

And what Shakespeare says of the poet is true of 
every craft of the intellect : 

"The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, 
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven." 

This is equally the case with the philosopher, the 
painter, the scholar, the sailor, the soldier, with man in 
all the estates of human life. Mind naturally is quick, 
rapid, lightning like in its movements. 
. With self-possession and facility I join taste as an- 
other element in the quality of excellence. And by 
taste I mean that " exquisite sense," to use the words 
ofGreville, "which instantly discovers and extracts the 
.quintessence of every flower, and disregards all the rest 
of it." 

Taste is nothing more or less than a sensitive disdain 
of the rude and gross, and the deliberate and constant 
choice of grace and beauty, wherever they discover 
themselves. And this discovery is open to every one 
of us ; but on the one condition, namely, that the mind 
itself is pure ; for then its vision instinctively will fall 
upon the fair, the bright, and pleasing. Taste is the 
aptitude of the soul for fitness ; its craving for the 


perfect ; its desire for the beautiful. It is both a natural 
and a cultivated gift; and hence it is an acquisition 
within the reach of every sensitive and aspiring soul. 

I beg, young ladies, to press upon you all, the oppor- 
tunities to secure excellence now in this fit time, which 
is given you in the days of your school life. This time 
comes once, and never comes again. Amid the busy 
whirl of life you cannot turn aside to get it. You know 
we would all laugh at the soldier who should run from 
the thick of the battle, to sharpen his sword. You can, 
indeed, do without the grace and finish of your powers; 
you can be rude, rough, unskilled women, yet be brave 
and good women too. But you can do better, every- 
where in life, by the attainment of excellence. It is 
Blakie who says : " Beauty, which is the natural food 
of a healthy imagination, should be sought after by 
every one who wishes to achieve the great end of exis- 
tence — that is to make the most of himself." 

Strive to make something of yourselves ; and then 
strive to make the most of yourselves ; not in selfishness ; 
not for vain display in society or in the world ; but for 
a grand reason which I will at once declare to you. It 
is this : Because you have great powers; I don't know 
the capacity of any one of you girls. I have never 
heard, from any quarter, your standing as scholars. 
But you are human beings ; and therefore I can say, if 
even you were the humblest of our kind, that you have 
great powers. You are responsible both for your 
powers of mind, and responsible for the training of 


Therefore I say cultivate your powers. Bring them 
under discipline. Give them strength. Try and get 
for them elasticity and promptitude. Set Truth — 
whether in fundamental ideas, great generic principles, 
or grand axioms — set truth, most distinctly before you, 
as the proper food of the mind. Use books, literature, 
science, as the instruments and agents of the intellect; 
mindful, however, that our inborn faculties are greater 
than all the facilities of culture. For "studies," as 
Lord Bacon says, serve mainly " to perfect nature." 

Join to this the remembrance that there is no essen- 
tial divorce of the reason from the imagination ; and 
while it is our duty to grasp everything solid and sub- 
stantial for the intellect, yet 

" Beauty — a living presence of the Earth" — pervades the universe; 

"Waits upon our steps; 
Pitches her tents before us as we move 
An hourly neighbor — ;" 

is one of the most glorious gifts of God to our nature : 

— beauty as we see it at this glorious season, in clear 

skies, in trees, in flowers, in the emerald verdure of 

green fields, in laughing^ running streams ; beauty in 

art and culture and poetry ; beauty deep in the human 

soul and in all its faculties ; and that it is our privilege 

and rightful prerogative as immortal creatures to take 

it up wherever we find it, as our heritage and rightful 

prerogative, and to incorporate it with every element of 

our being ; giving the glory and the adornment of it to 

every relation of life. 
23 ' 


I congratulate you, young ladies, on your advance- 
ment to this stage of your studies. I beg to cheer and 
encourage you in the onward step you are about taking 
from this evening; and you have my warmest good 
wishes that superiority may attend you in this later 
period of your school life, and that in all after days 
grace, excellence and efficiency may be the fruits of 
your entire life. 


An Address before the Garnet Lyceum, of Lincoln University* 


GENTLEMEN : It gives me no little pleasure to come 
to this school of learning, and to see such a number of 
young men assembled here for the purposes of study. 
For I presume that the main and most inspiring im- 
pulse which has drawn you hither from so many quar- 
ters, has been* your personal desire for knowledge. 
Not, I judge, from the impulses of pride, not from the 
stimulus of mere ambition, but, as I have every reason 
to believe, from that enthusiasm for letters which is a 
characteristic of your period of life ; and, from strong 
devotion to your race, have you been brought to these 
halls and placed yourselves under these masters. And 
most fortunate do I regard it for any young men who 
find the current of their sensibility running in the 
stream of thought or imagination, or noble purpose. 

Temporal and transitory regards sweep away the 
thousands. With multitudes, your period of life is one 
of mere passion. But how felicitous is their lot whose 
being is inspired by promptings which spring from the 
intellect ! Happy the youth, I say, whose minds are 
inflamed by all the glowing aspirations which are ex- 


cited by Poetry, Eloquence, History, and Scholarship ! 
Happy the youth who prefer the simplest sip from the 
fount of intellectual delight, to the largest draughts of 
passion. The tiniest rill of literature is preferable to 
the broadest, strongest stream of delight and voluptu- 

But even at the risk of seeming paradox, I wish to 
suggest to you, who are now, at the beginning of a 
scholar's life, that you have a long course to run ; that 
on that course albeit you may find many a beauteous 
blossom, many a gorgeous flower, yet on the other 
hand, you will surely encounter many a rugged hill, and 
meet multitudinous thorns and briers. And therefore 
you will, at the start of life, make a serious, if not a 
fatal mistake if you suppose that the passionate desire, 
of even a literary nature, will remain a constant and 
abiding stimulus. I have not a word to say in dis- 
paragement of the enthusiasm of letters. I have 
already commended it. Nay more, — I would say to 
every one of you, hold on, as long as you can, to every 
stimulating impulse of your intellectual being; fan the 
flames of your mental desire as long as a single spark 
remains, vital and aglow. For all the passions of your 
nature have their place, and serve legitimate ends. But 
at the same time bear well in memory that zeal and 
enthusiasm are not primary qualities ; that their func- 
tions are only secondary in the work of life ; and that 
in their very nature, they are but transitory and ephem- 
eral in their force and influence. At times when their 
importance is exaggerated; or when we are carried 



along impulsively, under their spell ; we find on our 
recovery, how delusive is their nature; and that if 
allowed full mastery over us — "They serve to bewilder 
and dazzle to blind." Gentlemen, all the great things 
in life come from a deeper source than the passions or 
sensibilities. When we seek physical growth, we turn 
to the muscle and fibre of our bodies, and .try to feed 
and develope both. When we aim at moral strength 
we seek a basis in the most solid and abiding region of 
our nature. Even so it is with the intellectual life. 
Your aim I apprehend is the upbuilding of your mental 
faculties. You desire especially to strengthen and in- 
vigorate the endowments of mind which God has given 
you ; for the specific value of such faculties, as also for 
the advantages which the processes of training may 
afford you. With these convictions of your purposed 
life, it is possible that I may somewhat serve you, to- 
day, if I attempt to point out the great truth that you 
can'tdepend upon mere impulse for these grand ends. 
Besides enthusiasm you need other higher qualities. 
To one of these I wish to call your attention to-day. 
I refer to that grasp upon one's intellectual powers 
which gives men facility and command in the spheres 
of life. I may venture to call it " Right-mindedness." 
A.s these are conditions of our physical powers, which 
fit us for large activities and which we call health ; as 
there is such a thing in the moral life, as rectitude, so we 
may assume that there is such a thing as the rectitude 
and integrity of our intellectual faculties, and which I 
may call RIGHT-MJNDEDNESS. How may we attain it? 


First of all, then, I would suggest that you accustom 
yourselves to fall back upon the mind itself as a main 
instrument and agency to the end desired. 

Many are disposed to seek the aids and facilities for 
mental growth in objects external to themselves. In 
our day, especially, lectures, magazines, the newspapers, 
and books, are the common reliance of most intelligent 
people. Perhaps it is no exaggeration to say that the 
vast majority of persons who have a reputation for 
sense and acquaintance have thrown their minds impli- 
citly upon authority- We see this dependence more 
especially in the use of books. It is a very rare thing 
to find persons whose master convictions have been 
evolved out of their own inward experience, or from 
the anxious struggles of their own minds. Most of the 
ideas we find afloat in society, come from the printed 
pages of some noted and sometimes inferior authors. 
What with the mere delight of reading: with the stores 
of information they bring us ; with the facial facilities 
of memory; what wonder that the mind, almost imper- 
ceptibly to itself, strives to avoid the strain and tug of 
its own muscle; and to rest content in the flimsiest 
self-satisfaction, and in effortless repose ! What wonder 
then if the tendency becomes an abiding one to run 
away to this seeming fountain of excellence, to that 
deposit of fancied wealth ; instead, first of all, falling 
back upon, and looking deeply (to use the lines of 

" Into our minds, into the mind of men 
Our haunt and the main region of my song." 



It is not a legitimate inference from this that we are to 
repudiate these various means of culture, and give up 
the use of books. The proper conclusion would seem 
to be that, in the training of the intellect, we should put 
things in their proper order. The natural, manifestly 
is the first in order. Our own forces were antecedent 
to all the supplementary agencies of culture. 

The inference, without doubt, is that while we use all 
available facilities for our mental upbuilding, it is the 
part of wisdom to depend chiefly, upon the natural 
powers with which we are gifted. 

It is for these reasons, if I do not err, that mental 
science ranks so high in the schools : especially be- 
cause it helps to set before us the anatomy of our 
intellectual being; and aids us, by introspection, to a 
view of the whole apparatus of our faculties. Some 
way or other we must secure this knowledge ; or, other- 
wise, there is no possibility of effectiveness in the work 
of life. You know that in the handicraft of society, 
the very first step to efficiency is the conscious pos- 
session of powers. Not a trade can be plied without 
this; not a business be carried on. If you wish to 
make a carpenter, or a blacksmith, out of your appren- 
tice, he must, first of all, be aware of having hands ; 
and then y of their capacity; of their adaptedness to 
specific ends ; and then get a knowledge of his tools, 
and of their uses. It is precisely so with regard to 
that other higher craft of the brain, to which, as stu- 
dents, you are more especially called. In this vocation 
one prime endeavour must be to know yourselves ; know 


your faculties; know their quality; know their func- 
tions. Brains, is the first knowledge ; brains as a power, 
and instrument; before books. 

This is the starting point of all intellectual enterprise. 
You must know your grandest implement. "It is in 
me and it shall come out" was the cry of Sheridan, 
after a miserable failure in the House of Commons. 
Here was that possession and consciousness of power 
which, was a real thing within him ; and which is the 
very beginning of all successful endeavour. It is hardly 
possible to overvalue this conviction and assurance. 
Observation of the widest kind is a necessity. The 
grasp of every sort of knowledge is desirable. Learning 
and erudition are grand appliances : but neither science 
however profound, nor learning however accurate, nor 
erudition however deep ; nor observation however wide 
can suffice for that inward spirit of intelligence which 
at once vitalizes, measures, and interprets all the facts 
and realities which come to the consciousness of man. 

These other acquisitions have their uses ; but I appre- 
hend that the force and impress of men in this world 
come from the direct energy of their own native powers ; 
and that all real success in life springs from that inward 
might which we exert upon society. They may have 
had learning; but this has been the aliment on which 
they have fed for the nourishment of inward powers ; 
the agents they have used to strengthen living faculties. 
It is personal force which tells ; it is the man himself 
who is felt in every real work which is undertaken in 
this world ; not only in the spheres which are purely 


intellectual; but also in those too which meet the 
sense ; whether it is building a Church, or, erecting a 
fort; or, uprearing, solidly and enduringly a colossal 
dock. Men do indeed need the advantages of culture 
in all the vocations of life; but your master need is 
yourself; the consciousness, not over-consciousness of 
your own powers and capacity; the thorough appre- 
hension that you are able to gauge the work before 
you ; and that your forces are superior to the accidents 
which hang around them. And this quality of intel- 
lectual selthood, is to be mingled with all your work, 
and should be its main characteristic. 

It is this personal element which differences the 
abiding things from the merely factitious and ephem- 
eral. When you examine the lives and works of the 
great men whose names shine upon the historic page 
this characteristic is observable. We may divide these 
names into two classes, i. e., (a) the names of men not 
so much distinguished for learning, as for intellectual 
might; and then (b) a large class, brilliant, as well, for 
.the richness and the vastness of their acquirements, 
and the glow of their refinement. Such men as Homer, 
Socrates, and Plato, stand most pre-eminent among the 
former. The age in which they lived shut them off 
from the almost boundless realm of letters which print- 
ing in our day yields even to excess. It is evident 
nevertheless that their names rank as high as any of 
the grand thinkers in more modern times. Everywhere 
in literature, among statesmen, philosophers, orators, 
scientific men and poets, we see their influence, im.- 


press, and power. Everywhere they are spoken of as 
authority; they tower above ordinary men, as kings. 

And yet their one main characteristic is that strong 
personal element, which permeates everything they 
wrote. When we read, for instance, the Dialogues of 
Plato, or the History of Tacitus, or the grand Poems 
of Homer, we are struck with the freshness and power 
in them. We feel the force of great original might. 
It is somewhat as though some strong personal force 
was acting upon our inward nature, a force which we 
could not possibly resist, and which indeed we would 
be loath to escape, or, in any way to separate from us. 

Then, next, when we turn to the very eminent men 
whose rich, original genius is everywhere made resplen- 
dent by the opulence of their learning, and studded 
with the pearls and diamonds of the grandest scholar- 
ship ; when we look, I say, upon their brilliant pages ; 
that which more especially shows the brilliancy of 
letters, shows still more that force of inward might to 
which I have been referring. 

In reading, for instance, the works of great modern 
literatures, poets, scholars, critics, orators ; such men 
as Dante, Milton, Southey, Coleridge or Ruskin, or, 
Burke; the largess of scholarly wealth, the prodigality 
of learning is as much a surprise as a delight. But far 
more surprising is the SPIRIT of such writers. Their 
works seem a revelation of their very soul-life. And 
indeed all the great and lasting works of men get their 
characteristic, not so much from learning; but from 
the element of individuality which permeates them, 


Learning and culture are great factors; but personal 
power is the force which gives reputation and authority. 

2. Another great auxiliary to the integrity of your 
intellectual being is DISCIPLINE. It is, moreover a 
corrective to all mere impulse or spontaneity. You 
will find it also a grand instrumentality to both self- 
mastery and all effectual endeavour. 

"I keep under my body" says Saint Paul. By this, 
doubtless the Apostle meant, that as a helmsman stands 
at the wheel, and holds under his mastery, the bulky 
vessel beneath his feet, with all her prodigious freight 
and cargo; — turning her, with ease, whithersoever he 
wishes; so he kept his body, with its appetites and 
passions under command. The like authority is possi- 
ble, and is a necessity over our intellectual faculties. 

The true scholar should endeavour to get the same 
control of his mental endowments, which a well-organ- 
ized and rightly-trained man has over his body. For 
our minds are instruments as well as our physical 
members. The intellect is not the man. Back of all 
our faculties, physical, mental and moral, resides one 
great commanding, central quality, man's personality; 
which regulates and uses all the powers of our nature, 
whether inward or outward, for its own ends. 

" My mind to me a kingdom is," 
is the line of a well known poem, but the man himself 
is the sovereign in that kingdom. One great purpose 
of the training of educational institutions, is to give us 
this sway over our powers. And that training is the 
best which is at once so facial and effectual that it puts 


us in possession of our several capacities. The pro- 
cess by which this is effected is termed — discipline. 

This discipline may be regarded in two aspects. First, 
in the light of control and subjection to our will. 

And doubtless you have observed men of ordinary 
capacity, as well as those endowed with extraordinary 
gifts, who held their faculties under their control; who 
possessed themselves, and were not possessed by any 
of their powers : On the other hand we have all seen, 
at times, even geniuses who were deficient in this attain- 
ment. The result in their respective cases has been as 
marked, as the broad contrast between their abilities. 
Your clever maladroit, undisciplined genius, most com- 
monly proves a failure, albeit, richly freighted with en- 
dowments. On the other hand, your ordinary charac- 
ter, well trained and regulated, plods on with system, 
to superiority, perchance to eminence. The difference 
arises from the fact that the one man, largely gifted, 
lacked the mastery of his powers ; the other, with but 
moderate forces, has learned to possess himself. 

It is this mastery of our faculties which is one hall 
of achievement in life. There can be no right-minded- 
ness without it. No man, without it, save as a matter 
of mere luck, can look forward to success. It is in our 
mental struggles, as it is in our physical; everything 
depends upon the skillful, nay almost unconscious 
handling of the muscles and sinews. 

I remember an incident that took place once in Lon- 
don. A young sprig of fashion from the West End, 
tall, slender, almost boyish in his build ; was insulted 


by a great burly coal-heaver, — a man over 6 feet in 
height; weighing more than 200 lbs. and carrying a 
fist as big as an ox's hoof. The young dandy put the 
reins of his horse into his servant's hands; jumped 
from his Gig, and pitched into the giant. Everyone 
thought the gentleman would have been killed. If the 
coal-heaver could have closed in with him, he would 
have eaten him up in a moment. But in as brief time 
as I have been telling the story, the gentleman had 
smashed the fellow's face to pieces, and left him sprawl- 
ing, on the ground. I believe you young gentlemen 
call that sort of thing science. 

The secret of his success lay in the force of an 
Aphorism of Dr. Arnold — "Discipline is superior to 
enthusiasm." You will find it, with a most interesting 
illustration, in his "Lectures on History;" a volume, 
which you will do well to possess yourselves of, and 
to read with care and diligence. 

Now the practical bearing of my words maybe taken, 
in this way: — Some of our faculties are naturally 
stronger than others. In some persons, imagination 
preponderates ; in others, Reason or Judgment. Some 
have a mathematical tendency ; and others again lin- 
guistic. Our natural proclivities incline to our taste 
and tendency, and lead to the cultivation of the more 
masterful powers. And this you will observe is itself 
a proneness to that spontaneity, which though easy 
and agreeable to inclination, makes us rather the creat- 
ures of propensity ; instead of giving us self-control. 
Now I say that we should guard ourselves" against the 


abnormal, and absorbing self-concentration of any- 
single faculty 

We should seek the training and education of our 
whole nature. That is not a true real system of educa- 
tion which is one-sided. I would therefore urge upon 
you that that mental training is defective which leaves 
entirely neglected certain distinct provinces of the in- 
tellect. Unfortunately this is not unseldom the case. 
Men with one idea ; men mastered by special and 
peculiar theories ; men swept away by prodigious 
acquisitions in one single line, but babes, in even some 
of the simpler elementary branches, are met with in 
all circles, and in all countries. There are more 
Dominie Sampsons in real life than were ever begotten 
in fiction. 

Now while it is evident that there can be but few of 
the princes of learning, the men who with eagle glance 
sweep the whole horizon of letters and science, who 
with equal ease and facility, turn at will, and with mas- 
terful power, to any department of learning or erudition; 
yet we should remember that we all possess, in a 
measure, precisely the same faculties which the grandest 
geniuses have owned ; that there is no redundancy and 
prodigality in the gifts of God to man ; that the posses- 
sion of powers always involves a commission to use 

Such gifted men as I have referred to are the rarest. 
Such extraordinary capacity as they exhibited is ex- 
ceptional. Even to attempt the dizzy heights where 
they climbed, and to tread the lofty plains where they 


walked with composure, would be only to exhibit our 
folly, and to ensure our ruin. 

And yet, in one respect, they are examples to us. 
Within certain limitations we may imitate them : for 
they show certain possibilities of the intellect which 
every man is bound to recognize ; they discover to our 
view the wide range of human capacity ; they "evidence 
the amazing power of cultivation ; they exemplify the 
duty of cultivating the whole group of faculties with 
which God has endowed us. While therefore you will 
recognize your inability to tread the highest planes of 
achievement; while you may elect to ascertain your 
own special aptitudes in the field of study ; be careful 
to bend yourself to the cultivation, in some degree, of 
every power and every faculty. There is nothing 
superfluous in the make-up of our intellectual being. 
Every talent is by nature, a necessity to the complete- 
ness and integrity of your system. Neglect of any gift 
is sure to beget anomaly and dissonance in your mental 
organization. All disproportion is sure to produce 
weakness and awkwardness. 

The harmonious development of your capacities is 
the surest means for the attainment of that inward 
magistracy and rule ; which puts a man at his ease ; 
serves him with a quiet self-sufficing assurance and 
enables him to tread the path of life with undoubted 
strength and capacity. 

Some of you perchance have a greater line of mathe- 
matical studies, with a distaste to languages. Some 
prefer Mental Science. And some again have a thirst 


for languages ; and turn with aversion, from both 
classics and science. We have various and diverse 
aptitudes. These aptitudes of men are valuable and 
suggestive. They are sign boards of duty. They are 
indications that these are naturally our special callings, 
the right arm of accomplishment, in our respective 

But don't be mastered by them, cultivate the very 
study you dislike. Bend your powers to the attain- 
ments to which you feel yourselves averse. Bridle 
your more masterful faculties. Put a rein upon mere 
self-asserting qualities ; and stimulate to active duty 
the tardy and reluctant members, which lurk sluggish 
and inert, in dark and sequestered unconsciousness. 
No matter if your talents be small and meager; it is a 
matter of first-rate importance, that you should have 
them all at your disposal. For the mind, to use St. 
Paul's most apt imagery "is not one member but 
many," and those members which seem to be more 
feeble, are necessary. And those members which we 
think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow 
more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have 
more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have 
no need. 

So in our intellectual system. All our faculties are, 
in someway, valuable and essential. They are all helps 
to usefulness, health and vigour; the less prominent 
and powerful, as well as the most commanding; and 
therefore more regard and pains should be spent upon 
the faculties which are lame, inert ancj of slender texture. 


So shall you secure freedom and superiority in the 
region of the understanding. 

I commend one further facility and expedient to the 
attainment of the rectitude of your intellectual powers. 
You will find all through life that both tone and eleva- 
tion of mind will be your constant acquisitions, by ac- 
customing yourselves to aims and objects of the highest 
character. No matter what may be your sphere in 
life ; keep before you the ultimate ends, in the domain 
of thought. Habituate your intellect to the primary 
truths which appertain to the mind ; and you will find, 
that not only will the narrow and the trivial become 
foreign to your thought, but that strength will be your 
constant and increasing gain. 

For it is, in intellectual concerns, as it is in the sphere 
of religion and spirituality, the ultimate and the highest 
is the most ennobling. The Christian man has indeed 
to attend to all the petty and minute concerns of every 
day life. Things of the most ordinary character are the 
daily duties which he has to meet. But observe how 
the Church seeks ever to have her children mastered by 
a divine idea; and enjoins upon them to carry that 
idea, and to intermingle it, with the commonest affairs 
of life. " Sursum Corda" has been the call of the church, 
to her children from the earliest centuries. And in that 
branch of it, in which it is my privilege to minister, 
these two simple words, in the vernacular, are repeated 
every day at thousands of her altars ; calling upon the 
faithful, not indeed to turn a deaf ear to duty, " stern 
daughter of the voice of God:" — not indeed to step 


aside in pride and self-importance from the state of life 
into which it has pleased God to call us ; but to meet 
every obligation, and to answer every responsibility; 
but even, " as in our great Taskmaster's eye." And 
so I say to you, if you wish to become men of might 
and effectiveness, — " Lift up your minds." However 
humble any of us may be, however ordinary and 
common-place in mind, our nature is prefigured after 
the universal; all the cardinal facts of the universe are 
the common heritage of humanity ; all the prime ideas 
which pertain to the Godhead and to humanity, all the 
ground ideas and principles which abide in the realms 
of mind and spirit ! The inferiority and degradation 
of the masses of men lies mostly in the fact that they 
are content to be unduly pressed by the laws of their 
lower nature. 

If we are content with the earthly and the carnal, if 
we are engrossed with the sensible and material, then 
we shall surely eschew the heavens above, and lose 
sight of the stars of glory. But yet there remains for 
us all; man, the soul of man; the progress of humanity; 
the destiny of the race ; the great unsettled questions 
of the spirit ; the grand moral entities ; the yet untried 
possibilities of culture ; and far above these the majesty 
and eternity of God. No matter who or what you are, 
these themes are the prerogative of no exclusive aris- 
tocracy of intellect. They belong to man ! They are 
always, in one way or another, forcing themselves upon 
the attention of man. It is only by closing the ears of 
the soul, or, by listening too intently to the clamors of 


sense, that we become oblivious of their utterances ; and 
suffer thereby the greatest soul-loss. If we only en- 
deavour to lift ourselves up to these grand themes, and 
abide by them, small men indeed we may be, by nature ; 
yet we shall, nevertheless, enlarge the measure of our 
own souls ; we shall get a light which never streamed 
from stars or sun ; and a power shall come intp our in- 
nermost being, fitting us for the grandest purposes of 

— "These rules regard; 

These helps solicit; and a steadfast seat 

Shall then be yours among the happy; 

Few who dwell on earth, yet breathe Empyreal air, 
Sons of the morning !" 

I have ventured to present this special train of thought, 
because you are coloured young men ; and, as such, 
allied to a people whose special need, for a long while, 
will be strength. All history shows that when a new 
people come on the stage of action and commence the 
career of manhood, there is, and for no short period 
either, a very large demand made on them for union, 
•for combination, for effective force, for demonstrated 
manhood, for manifest and indubitable strength. The 
conditions under which they commence the race of 
life imply weakness ; and consequently they must 
needs husband all their resources, and be covetous of 
all possible might. And, for the simple reason that 
they themselves have got to work out their own salva- 
tion, to raise themselves to that equality, far in the 
future, which your dreamers would fain persuade you is 
a present possibility and an existent reality. 

374 Africa and America. 

Your work then in life, young gentlemen, is most 
serious, and most burdensome. You have got to organ- 
ize a people who have been living nigh 200 years, under 
a system of the most destructive mental, moral, and 
physical disorganization the world has ever seen. You 
have got to train a people to solid, sober and persistent 
thought ; a people who have been accustomed for gen- 
erations, to every seductive sensual inducement which 
might banish thought, and dissipate all the sober pro- 
cesses of the intellect. You have got to deliver from 
the thraldom of the flesh a vast population, who, for 
centuries, have been given over to the domain of sense, 
and the instincts of animal passion. 

If any of you suppose you can enter on such a work 
as if it were the jousts of a tournament ; as though your 
activities were to be like the tilting of Carpet Knights ; 
then you have made one of the most- serious of all pos- 
sible mistakes ; and you need an instant and most radi- 
cal reconstruction of your convictions. 

I have one other reason for the topic which I have 
presented to your consideration. I see, especially in 
the large cities, in many and wide circles, a strong ten- 
dency to cultivation and refinement. I see much accu- 
mulation of property, and the rising of a new genera- 
tion of educated and cultivated persons. The youth of 
the present day are very many years in advance of their 
fathers. One marked and dangerous peculiarity how- 
ever constantly betrays itself: the stream of tendency 
among cultivated coloured Americans is too exclusively 
aesthetical. There is a universal inclination to that 


which is pleasing, polished and adorning. Where there 
is cultivation, it is mainly in poetry, music, fiction, pri- 
vate theatricals, the Opera. There is much elegance 
and real taste in house decoration ; and dress is every- 
where, and in a true sense of the term, a Fine Art. 
The mind of our people seems to be a hot-bed of rich, 
precocious, gorgeous and withal genuine plants : — and, 
if I mistake not, I discover in it all, that permanent 
tropical element which characterizes all the peoples 
whose ancestral homes were in the southern latitudes ; 
and who may be called " children of the sun." I find 
no fault with this tendency. I regard it one of the 
most natural outgrowths from the soil of our African 
nature. Believe me there is nothing more abiding, 
nothing more persistent than race, and race peculiarities. 

No people can be regarded as wise who look upon 
these tendencies as weeds ; and who will strive rudely 
to pluck them up, and destroy them. 

Whatever is natural, is, in its due measure, healthy 
and elevating. The aesthetical tendency is a grand and 
opulent capital wherewith to commence the work of 
responsible life and duty. 

It serves, up to a certain point, to deliver a people 
from the control of the gross and vulgar. It gives, 
very considerably, the fine aptitudes, for the super- 
sensual. And without doubt this same tendency, has 
been a large element in all human progress and 

" These polished arts have civilized mankind, 
Softened the rude and calmed the boisterous mind." 


At the same time, I must say, that this love of the 
beautiful among our people shows all the signs of being 
but a mere possession. It looks like tendency; and 
but little else. I see, nowhere, any counterbalance of 
the hardier studies, and more tasking scholarship, which 
serve to give vigor, hardihood and robustness to a race. 
I discover nowhere distinctive end or aim in it. 

"The river windeth at its own sweet will." 

It is, so far as I can see, mere, unrestrained spontaneity; 
and spontaneity, valuable as it is, requires the restraints 
and limitations ; which can only be furnished by the 
imperial faculties of the moral and mental nature, the 
Conscience and Reason. Just as the Mississippi with 
its vast volume and its boundless riches, flows on toward 
the Ocean; diffusing fertility through many a long 
league, and through broad far-reaching Empires ; and 
yet, from the Prairie lands to the Ocean, has to be 
watched and guarded and kept within bounds ; now, to 
be banked up ; and now, to be drained of redundant 
waters ; and now to be guided into new channels ; and 
all, least the prodigality of its flow should serve to 
sweep away the gift of its own riches or bring on de- 
vastation in the very centres where it has given opulence 
and glory ! 

Now, young gentlemen, if you are to be leaders, 
teachers and guides among your people, you must have 
strength. No people can be fed, no people built up on 
flowers. Aesthetics, while indeed they give outward 
adornment, and inward delicate sensibility, tend but 

klGHT-MltfDEDNESS. 511 

little, in the first place, to furnish that hardy muscle and 
strong fibre which men need in the stern battle of life ; 
nor, next, do they beget that tenacity, that endurance, 
that positive and unwavering persistence, which is the 
special need of a new people, running a race which they 
have never before entered upon ; and undertaking civ- 
ilizing achievements, from which their pow,ers and 
capacities have been separate for long centuries. 

Every thing in this work is new ; and believe me, as 
severe as it is new. The past is forever gone ; and it 
has no teachings efther for the present or the future. 
Nowhere in our American history can you light upon 
any instructive antecedents. What was supposed to be 
fit and suitable to our Race under a past regime, we 
know now was but chaff and sawdust ! Since then the 
breeze of nature has stirred within their souls ; and now, 
life in all its departments, domestic, civil, political, 
religious and educational has stimulated a prodigious 
appetite which will brook neither denial nor delay. 
Their mental voracity will surely make the most enor- 
mous demands upon you ; and if you trifle away your 
time here, or are pleased with a mental gewgaw or a 
silly rattle, when you go out in life, you will sink to 
the dimensions of a dwarf, and you will fall helpless and 
imbecile, before even the broken lance of a true knight. 

I congratulate you, Young Gentlemen of the " Garnet 
Lyceum," on the grand opportunities of this University ; 
I commend you most earnestly to a prudent, punctual, 
and most earnest cultivation of your advantages ; and I 
trust that when you enter upon the active duties of life 


you may be found possessed of so great self-command 
and such large resources, that you may tell powerfully, 
in your day and generation, for the elevation of your 
race, for the progress of science and learning; and for 
the glory of God ! 

The Dignity of Labour; 
and Its Value to a New People. 

An Address before the " Working Men's Club" 
Philadelphia, Pa., 1881. 


THERE are two ways of knowing things in this world. 
Vhe one is to know them in a crude, blind, uninformed 
and mechanical manner, i. e., by the senses merely, and 
the bodily powers ; somewhat as an animal knows a 
thing. This kind of knowing is altogether outward, 
and pertains mainly to our physical nature. But the 
other mode of knowing is the apprehension of princi- 
ples and essences ; the seeing into the very life of 
things; and the seizing upon the highest uses and 
advantages which they may offer. 

Now, in just these two ways we can understand the 
fact and the principles of labour. The beasts of burden 
that toil in the fields and carry heavy loads, they under- 
stand what labour is. Void of reason though they be, 
they have nevertheless understanding. When trained, 
they know their places before carts and vehicles ; know 
the times of service ; know the routines of work ; know 
how to fit themselves to severest tasks ; come to know 
painstaking and endurance in their tasks and toil. But 
they don't know the full value of their labour ; they don't 
know the skill whereby they might participate in the rich 
gains which their sweat and toil yield to their owners. 


But the skill and cunning of men have enabled them 
to fall upon devices, whereby they have been able to 
reduce vast numbers of their fellow men to well nigh 
the same state and condition of the beasts of the field, 
and to lead them, almost blindly, to the same dull, 
laborious and animal-like endurance of mere bodily 
toil. Multitudes of men, in every land, know labour, 
in precisely the way domestic animals do. They know 
the mere physical toil, and all the accessories to it; 
know the severest tasks ; know the iron routines of 
service ; know the soulless submission and the slavish 
drudgery ; but alas they have never come to know the 
dignity of labour; never been permitted to share its 
golden values, and its lofty requitals. And in this we 
may see the difference between enlightened labour, on 
the one hand ; and unskilled and unenlightened labour 
on the other. Skilled labour knows its own value and 
contends for it. It knows two things: it knows (a) 
what labour is, in its excellence and glory ; not as mere 
service and dredging, but as a creative power amid the 
divers materials of earth, clay, minerals, wood and 
stone; and (b) it knows too the values of all labour; 
i. e., the noble worth and real merit which belong to 
the plastic and formative use of the trained hand and 
the cunning intellect of man. Unskilled and ignorant 
labour is wanting in both these respects. For ist, it 
does not know in its best sense what labour is. For, 
divorced from the nobler results of toil, it can not see; 
it is tmconscious of the dignity of labour ; and digs and 
delves mechanically from necessity, or, compulsion, or 



from mere animal impulse. Untrained and unenlight- 
ened, the hand is awkward, and the eye is blind. 

There is no mingling of the active brain with strained 
exertion. No reaching over of the mind to the grand 
results which flow, in golden streams, from the sweated 
pours of labour. 

And 2d, the deficiency of untaught labour shows 
itself in its unconsciousness of values. The rude un- 
tutored labourer does not know himself; does not 
know his powers ; does not know the value of his 
powers ; does not know the worth of his pains and toil 
and sufferings in labour ; does not know the weight of 
every sweat-drop that bursts from his pores, and rolls, 
like beads, from his moistened brow. The wild Indian 
in the West hunts, day by day, for a few skins of 
animals. He sells them to a Trader for a simple gew- 
gaw, or a jug of rum; but the Trader brings them 
East, and sells them for a sum which would have been 
a fortune to the whole tribe of simple Indians. 

What makes the difference? The red man ran, day 
after day, amid exposure, without food, without shelter; 
with constant strain and effort of limb ; but did not 
know the value of his labour, and parted with the fruit 
of his toil — for nothing! The Trader turns it into 
solid gold, and in a few years is a wealthy Capitalist. 
Ignorant labour is service and drudgery, and yields but 
bare subsistence. It takes but the slightest cognizance 
of the higher faculties of men, and pertains almost en- 
tirely to the animal of our nature. But skilled and 
enlightened labour, starts from the centre. Its spring 



is the intellect. It runs continually in the orbit of 
human thought and skill. And it yields all the pro- 
ductive realities which serve body, mind and spirit; 
and which tend to the development of a high humanity. 
Now, if I do not make a very great mistake, the 
former is the characteristic of the black labour in this 
country for two and one half centuries. It has been 
labour with the following most evident peculiarities : — 
It has been rude, untutored, unenlightened. It has 
been to a large extent, unmingled with brains and in- 
telligence. It has been plodding mechanical, and very 
largely merely animal. It has been unskilled. It has 
been labour alienated, from dignity and manhood. It 
has been labour divorced from the grand ends, and the 
large and golden values, which are the legitimate pro- 
duct of human toil ! Just here the question arises, — 
"are these characteristics to be perpetuated in our line 
and blood, — in all our future?" Is the labour of the 
black man in the time to come, to be a menial, boorish 
serfdom, spent only for food, and a dilapidated hut; 
unassociated with intelligence ; without the adornment 
of competency, of superiority, and of art. Or, on the 
other hand, is it to be a joyous, remunerative and a 
fruitful system of toil, allied to everything manly and 
elevating, and yielding the grand products of comfort, 
improvement, intelligence, and domestic refinement. 
Doubtless there are sanguine minds here who, carried 
away by the seeming show of things, are ready on the 
instant to cry out to me — "Yes, the future of our labour 
is to be glorious ! The past is dead and can never be 


revived! Slavery is doomed, and all its fruits are 
withered, and blasted forever ! " 

But my friends / can't speak so confidently as some 
of you upon this question. I am indeed hopeful ; but 
I have my apprehensions. When I look at the present 
condition of the black race in this country, I see serious 
and formidable obstacles which array themselves in 
their way, preventing, so largely, the securing of land, 
and the acquisition of wealth; I am sorely troubled 
with misgivings, least the opposing forces may so far 
prevail as to keep their labour, for a long period to 
come, inferior, servile and unremunerative. 

Two special dangers threaten the race with respect 
to labour. One of these is the danger of a labour sys- 
tem, semi-servile in its nature, and feudalistic in its 
working ; binding the labourer to service, but allowing 
him the slenderest interest in the soil, and when possi- 
ble shutting him off from the ownership of land. 

The actual state of things, all through the south, 
justifies my fears. There is evidently a very wide con- 
viction in the southern mind that the special function 
of the black man is to be a humble tiller of the soil ; 
the mere functionary of the old landed proprietor. In 
making this statement I intend nothing offensive. I am 
speaking of the legitimate tendencies of human nature. 
Emancipation, you will remember was a terrible dislo- 
cation, it broke up everything suddenly and disas- 
trously. It was like the upheaval of the great deep, 
by an earthquake. It tore up the foundations of sys- 
tems which had had the rooting of two centuries and 


rriore. R left chaos on every side. The whites of the 
south felt it, and still feel it. All dislocations are in- 
jurious, and leave wounds and sorrows behind. They 
injure material interests, and they grievously confuse 
the brain. Herein lies the peril for the future. The 
old landed proprietor, bewildered as by an earthquake, 
mindful only of the past, unable to settle in the grooves 
of the future, holds on to the soil ; holds on to his old 
notions as to the fit tillers of the soil ; holds on to his 
old convictions of the natural place and destiny of the 
black race, as the tillers of the soil. 

Hence arises the disposition, as by an instinct, to 
hold on to the soil, and to keep the black race from 
possessing it. "The Negro has no right to be a pro- 
prietor. He was born for service and for toil. If he 
does not know his place as a hewer of wood and a 
drawer of water, he must be taught it." 

Now these convictions are the most natural conceiv- 
able. They are not the exclusive characteristic of 
southern gentlemen. Men of power and property act 
, so everywhere. You will find the same sentiment 
among land owners in England ; among planters in the 
West Indies; among manufacturers in New England; 
among proprietors in the East Indies ; will you believe 
it? Yea, among black emigrants in Liberia surrounded 
by crude and ignorant pagans. Everywhere on earth 
men like to hold on to power; like to use their in- 
feriors as tools and instruments ; plume and pride them- 
selves as superior beings; look with contempt upon 


the labouring classes, and strive by every possible 
means to use them to their own advantage. 
; Indeed, it is generally the selfish instinct of Capital 
to regard the labouring man as fit for use; regardless 
of his comfort, his rights, and his well being, as a man, 
a citizen arid an immortal being. 

"For why? Because the good old rule 
Sufficetb them, the! simple plan, 
That they should take who have the power 
. And they should keep who can." 

But hot only have these' Opinions and this past system 
been injurious \p the whites, but they have seriously 
affected us, as a' people. They have injured us in two 
diverse and opposite ways. For, first they have served 
tb settle in the minds of large numbers of our race the 
idea that servitude is the normal condition of the 
black man. Two centuries of service in this land has 
thoroughly driven this idea into the souls of thousands 
of our people; so that you can find numbers of black 
men and black women who really think that they them- 
selves are inferior because they are black; that the 
race was born for inferiority ; and that they reach the 
highest state of honour when they become. the servants 
of white men. These convictions have injured our 
race nearly as much in an opposite direction. They 
have bred the notion in another larger class, that labour 
is ; degrading;- that superior people ought not to work; 
that as soon as one gets up a little in the world, soiled 
or horny hands, are vulgar and debasing; that those 


who can get a little learning, should give up hardy toil 
and aim after something higher ! 

Let me lay down here a few principles which may 
help us, as a people, to settle upon a solid basis this 
most important subject for the future. And, in this 
attempt, I wish to speak intelligently and with an eye 
to practicality. 

First of all then, let me urge the primary importance 
of recognizing the duty and dignity of labour. Very 
many things have served to disturb such recognition. 
All the usages of society, all the habitudes of life, all 
the instructions of superiors, have tended to fasten 
upon us the idea of the degradation of labour. We 
have been brought up under a most artificial system, 
wherein on the one hand, all the glory and the beauty 
of life have been associated with ease, luxury and mas- 
tery ; and where all the toil, the drudgery, the ignor- 
ance and the suffering, have been allied to the Negro 
and to servitude. What sort of a school was this, in 
which to learn the dignity of labour? Nay, rather was 
it not the very condition in which to convince the 
whole race that labour was the grandest curse of 
humanity? We cannot unlearn this conviction too 
speedily. For the very first step in a people's temporal 
prosperity is the material one of self-dependence, of 
personal support, through toil. Not until a people are 
able, by their own activities and skfll, to raise them- 
selves above want, and to meet the daily needs of home 
and family, can they take the next great step to the 
higher cultivation which comes by letters, refinement 


and religion ; and which lifts them up to civility and 
power. The kernel of this higher cultivation is labour. 
Go back in the history of mankind, trace the progress 
of human culture from its earliest buddings, to its full- 
est blossomings and fruitage; in either Egyptian, or 
Eastern, or Grecian, or Roman civilization ; and the 
same identical facts, and allied to them, the same identi- 
cal principles show themselves in all human history. 

1st, for the facts: The facts are these, namely, that 
regular, systematic and plodding toil, in all the diversi- 
fied fields of human action, anticipated and lay at the 
base of all national greatness, in all the great empires. 
Everywhere we come to the sight of labour, in the 
fields, in the rivers, in the aqueducts, on the roads, in 
the navies, in the architecture, in the domiciles, in the 
temples, of these great peoples. 

And 2d, the principle which is interfused in all these 
human endeavours is this, — viz., that toil and material 
greatness, sustain the abiding relation of cause and 
effect. Underlying all this grandeur and this glory of 
nations lies the solid fact, of all the multitudinous 
activities of men, in all the divers trades and occupa- 
tions of life. It was a magnificent result, to which 
every hardy worker was a contributor. All the splen- 
dour of Athens or of Rome ; in temples or senate 
houses, or bridges, or columns, or aqueducts, or baths ; 
in vast empire, or extended commerce; was a gift 
bestowed by the brawny arms, and the vigorous frames 
of hardy, humble labourers. 


None of these things come without labour. It is the 
grand creator of all things superior in the world. With- 
out its presence, barrenness, rudeness, sterility prevail 
But when labour comes upon the scene, then the, wilder- 
ness with its gigantic trees and its forests of stubble, 
vanish from sight; then the rocks fall to dust, and the 
hills are unseated from their beds ; then the valleys are 
filled up, and wasteful rivers are turned from ,their 
courses; then the useless herbage of the soil is .swept 
away, and fields of corn and wheat wave their golden 
tassels, and invite the scythe and sickle of the reaper; 
then the wild confused face of nature departs ; and is 
changed by rule and genius, into regulated surfaces, 
and the seats of orderly towns and villages ; then the 
fitful wasteful labour of barbarism is changed into the 
systematic toil of the mechanic and the artizan ; then 
the rude and barbarous life of the savage becomes sub- 
verted ; and the stimulated desires and the cultivated 
wants of society, bring in civilization ; then the rude bark 
and the dangerous canoe are rejected ; and noble vessels* 
strike out into the ocean for *trade and commerce / 
then grand cities spring up into 1 existence, and art and 
science and generous culture, and noble universities 
elevate society, artd bring nobleness to the breed of men. 

AIL these my friends are the direct and legitimate 
results of labour. The very first step from savage life 
to grand civility, is the throwing Off the disorganized, 
irregular toil of the uncivilized man ; and turning 
sharply, into the ways of systematic, orderly, regulated 

The Dignity of labour. 391 


You thus see friends that the very first thing is 
labour. It is not, observe, a sleight-of-hand, or cunning 
artifice ; or skillful ingenuity whereby gain, or advan- 
tage, or sustenance can come to you or me. It is 
labour whereby we are to get daily bread, and all the 
other accessories of sustenance and living. And this 
labour is a personal demand and requirement, as a 
means reaching over to an end. Don't listen for a 
moment to the too popular but lying adage — "The 
world owes every man a living." Wherever a debt is 
contracted there is always an antecedent equivalent 
which goes before the indebtedness. If — if I say, if 
the world owes you a living, labour goes before and anti- 
cipates the indebtedness. Labour, I say then, again — 
Labour is the first thing. 

Turn now to another limitation. It is labour I am 
speaking of, not drudgery. Man has got tired of 
• drudgery. He is not tired of labour. Everywhere he 
is willing to work; but he is dissatisfied with mere 
animal toil, and the bare subsistence which the lowly 
workers of life, all qyer the globe, have for centuries, 
been getting. The demand for freedom in Russia ; the 
grand emancipations in the West Indies and America ; 
the turbulence of the working classes in every European 
state and kingdom ; the labour upheavals in our own 
country, all serve to show that the days of human 
drudgery are coming to an end. The labour world is 
craving for more rest ; more time to read and think ; 
more time for comfort and enjoyment; more time for 
home and family, and the reading room and the church. 


Its battle now in our day is against DRUDGERY; not 
always a wise battle ; but, nevertheless, a battle, and a 
protest against mere bodily toil divorced from the best 
desires and the nobler aspirations of the living soul. 
It is not a demand for indolence. Man is, by his con- 
stitution, a toiler. Every limb, every faculty, within 
and without calls for labour. All the necessities, re- 
quirements, appetencies, aspirations, desires, instincts, 
of both body and soul, not only fit him for, but make 
him a labourer. 

So here, I repeat myself, viz. — that the very first 
thing is labour. This is the root, this is the foundation 
of all natural superiority in the world. It is the fount- 
ain of all excellency, power and mastery. It is the 
kernel of all human greatness. Nothing of might and 
majesty ever spring up in this world, which did not owe 
its origin and completion to labour. 

Labour then is the most honorable, the most glorious 
thing in human society, and he who knows it not ; he 
who refuses participation in it, is a nobody; I care not 
if he owns millions. Every man in the world is bound 
to be productive, in some definite way, by labour ; or 
else he is a dead man or a dog ! 

We see too, from this, what a vulgar, what an in- 
sensible, what a brainless thing it is, in anybody, to de- 
spise work; and to look down upon labourers. Let 
me repeat just here the strong and pointed language of 
Carlyle : — " Two men I honour, and no third. First the 
toil-worn craftsman that, with earth-made implements, 
laboriously conquers the earth and makes her man's ! 


Venerable to me is the hard hand, crooked, coarse; 
wherein notwithstanding, has cunning virtue indefeasi- 
bly royal, as of the sceptre of this planet. Venerable 
too is the rigid face, all weather-tanned, besoiled with 
its rude intelligence ; for it is the face of a man living 
manlike. Oh but the more venerable for thy rudeness 
and even because we must pity, as well as love thee ! 
Hardly entreated brother ! For us was thy back bent, 
for us were thy straight limbs and fingers so deformed ; 
thou wert our conscript, on whom the lot fell ; and 
fighting our battles wert so marred ! For in thee too 
lay a God-created form, but it was not to be unfolded; 
encrusted must it stand with the thick adhesions and 
defacements of labour; and thy body, like thy soul, 
was not to know freedom. Yet toil on, toil on ; thou 
art in thy duty, be it out of it, who may ; thou toilest 
for the altogether indispensable, for daily bread. 

A second man I honour, and still more highly: Him 
who is seen toiling for the spiritually indispensable; 
not daily bread, but the Bread of life. Is he not too in 
his duty ; endeavouring towards harmony, revealing this 
by act or byword, through all his outward endeavours, 
be they high or low? Highest of all, when his outward 
and his inward endeavours are one, when we can name 
him Artist, — not earthly craftsman only, but inspired 
thinker; that with heaven-made implement conquers 
heaven for us ! If the poor and humble toil for him in re- 
turn, that he have light, have guidance, freedom, immor- 
tality. These two, in all their degree, I honour; all else 


is chaff and dust, which let the wind blow whither it 

Unspeakably touching is it however, when I find both 
dignities united ; and he that must toil outwardly for 
the lowest of man's wants, is also toiling inwardly, for 
the highest. Sublimer in this world, I know nothing 
than a peasant Saint, could such anywhere be met with. 
Such a one will take you back to Nazareth itself! Thou 
wilt see the splendour of heaven spring forth from the 
humblest depths of earth, like a light shining in great 
darkness !" * 

You see in these words of Carlyle how he extols, 
first of all, the toiler in the fields, the bread-winner by 
agricultural labour ; and rightly so. For farming, i. e., 
the tilling of earth was the first of all human work. 
And well it would be for us, as a people, if we cherished 
large solicitudes for the labours of the fields. It is at 
once one of the simplest, purest, health-giving, inde- 
pendent, and lucrative of all employments. In every 
land, the farming people, the yeomanry of a nation, pro- 
duce the staunchest, bravest, most hardy and virtuous 
part of the population. No nobler sons, no chaster 
more excellent women can be found in our land, than 
those who come from the rural districts. 

Just this has been, for 200 years, the main employ- 
ment of our race in this land; and it is a cause of deep 
regret to me that, since emancipation, hundreds and 
thousands of our people, partly through abuse and 
fraud, and partly from an injudicious choice, have de- 

* Sartor Resartus. 



serted the labour of thedand, to seek the temporary 
and uncertain employments of cities. How desirable it 
is that our brethren should seek once more the inde- 
pendence of country life and country toil ! Would that 
scores and hundreds crowding the lanes and alleys and 
tenement houses of the cities, would return to the tillage 
of the soil! I say to young men — "Seek country 
homes;; Get small farmsteads. Cultivate small fruits. 
Raise chickens. Strive to possess land !" Observe the 
wisdom of the new immigrant. He sees, on his arrival, 
the glare and glitter of New York. But he does not 
think that the metropolis is heaven, and that he can 
live nowhere else ! No ; , he pushes his way into the 
country; clears the forest, and becomes a farmer; 
and in a few years amasses a comfortable future. And 
so I say to ambitious colored young men — Get out of 
the cities; leave the hotels; go to mother earth for 
sustenance, independence and wealth. 

But I know that all men can't be farmers; and all 
men don't want to be farmers. Choose then other em- 
ployments. Diversify your labours. When you can-, 
engage in trade and barter and merchandise; It is 
difficult I know thus to break through the barriers of 
caste, : to the height of such occupations; but try; and 
try; and try again; until you carve your way, to the 
higher avenues to wealth and superiority. Seek trades 
for your children. The difficulties in your way are 
formidable. Don ; t be satisfied with the exclusion of 
your sons and daughters from the workshops of me- 
chanics. Strive; push; argue; protest; remonstrate; 


demand ; until importunity, shame and justice give you 
triumph ; and multitudes of your sons ply the plane, 
the hammer, the saw and all the other implements of 
mechanism in every quarter of the land. Until then 
use all the occupations of service, which houses, hotels 
and restaurants offer, without hesitation, and with 

I. Since labour of any and all kinds, is in itself, such 
a prime and valuable thing, I beg to caution my 
brethren against that vulgar sentiment one meets in 
colored society, I mean the contempt of servant life. I 
call it a vulgar sentiment ; for first, all labour is honour- 
able ; and next, the service of others is one of the grand- 
est vocations to which any man can be called. All the 
great heroes, all the noble martyrs, in human history, 
served their generation, and died. The grandest illus- 
tration of this noble duty is the Lord Jesus Christ. He 
came to serve. He did serve ! He suffered in serving; 
and in the service of man he died ! 

And the calling and the duties of servants will be 
perpetual. Some people, and at all times, will have to 
be servants ; and I know no reason why coloured people 
should not be, as well as any other. In the United 
States I am aware there is a disposition to avoid ser- 
vant life. Free-born white Americans think it beneath 
them to serve in the houses of the rich. And the same 
feeling is gradually spreading among our people. 

But believe me it is an ignorant and contemptible 
feeling. For observe, we all, whether rich or poor, 
have to serve. First of all, our parents, are our ser- 



vants, before we are born ; immediately at our birth ; 
many weary weeks and months and years, after we 
enter upon life. Then elder brothers and sisters are 
our servants. Then schoolmasters. Then hired per- 
sons. Then Policemen. Then Ministers, and Judges, 
and Governors, and Magistrates ! See, how, all through 
life, men are the servants of others. 

Hence, I say the vocation of a servant is one which 
is established by the Almighty ; which pervades life ; 
and is therefore a divine institution. But notice again, 
that the vocation of domestic servant has its gen- 
erous and gracious advantages. It has its disadvan- 
tages I know; for it serves to soften; it produces 
luxurious tastes ; it begets a liking for things rich and 
expensive ; it indisposes for hard and severe toil ; it is 
adapted to make people fastidious. But my sober con- 
viction is that if people have well regulated minds, the 
advantages of servant life exceed the disadvantages. 
For first, it trains people to regular, systematic and or- 
derly modes of living. In this consists the superiority 
of the rich that they must have order and system. This 
gives a training to those who serve them ; and which 
they are likely to carry into their own homes, when 
they commence life. 

2. Service cultivates neatness. This is another de- 
mand of the rich ; and it aids domestics in renouncing 
untidiness and slovenliness. 

3. It teaches people economy; for the wealthy and 
affluent are a deal more economical than the poor ; and 
this is a great lesson to learn. 


4. It teaches people obedience and humility. There 
can be no true servant-life without these two grand 
qualities ; for they are grand qualities. No man, no 
matter who he be, can do the "work of life well, unless 
he learns to obey and be humble. I say, no man ; and 
I mean the Chief Magistrate of the nation, as well as 
the humblest servant boy here to-night. Humility and 
obedience are Christian graces ; and it is our duty to 
learn them. But observe, I am not inculcating servility. 
A man who is a servant is bound to remember that he 
is a man, just as much as his master; and he ought not 
to allow that master to trench upon his manhood. But, 
within that limit, servant life is a grand educator of 
obedience and humility. 

5 . It gives us the opportunity of securing the purest 
English, and learning the very best manners. More 
than one foreign tourist in this country has remarked 
that the colored people of America were among the 
most polite people he met with. Many have spoken 
of the correct English we speak. Contact with affluent 
classes give us these ■ advantages both of manners and 
speech. ;, 

6. The advantages of money making are worthy of 
consideration here ; for if wages are moderate, the ex- 
penses of servants are light;, and if they are prudent 
they can, in a few years, with the presents good ser- 
vants are sure to get, — purchase a small homestead for 
themselves ; and — 

7- And lastly servants have the grand privilege of 
doing good, and of blessing the life of others. I am not 


speaking of hirelings ; I am speaking of servants who do 
their duty, with diligence, from principle, and with affec- 
tion. What a noble privilege is it not, with such feelings, 
to serve both the old and the young — aged people, little 
children, babes and the sick. And hence I say — if you 
have the gifts of service, the willing mind, the gentle 
hand, the soft voice, the tender heart, follow the calling 
of a servant; and show yourselves friends to your 
employers, in your honorable calling ! The humble 
spheres of labour then must still be recognized.. The 
humbler spheres of labour still abide; and we, as a 
people, are to participate in them, just the same as all 
other people, in the several nationalities. 

But while indeed recognizing the full legitimacy of 
service, I must here present the due meets and bounds 
of this recognition. I am willing that some colored 
people who desire it, should be servants; but I pro- 
test against making this the condition of the whole 
people ; for it is not every man who wants to be a ser- 
vant. I maintain that we must have the same division 
of labor among us that the English the French and the 
German and the Irish have. If the colored people of 
this country only^ are to be servants, then you make the 
colored people a CASTE in this country ; and consign, 
not only them in one generation, to servile employ- 
ment, but their children, and their children's children, 
perpetually. In India, Brahmins and Soodras and 
Casters, are fixed and separated, in definite spheres; 
and tied down to distinctive employments forever. 
What the father was, so the son must be, and the 


grandson after him. The blood of a family can never 
be turned to duties different from their ancestors. The 
particular caste must run in one simple groove forever! 
Now I say that no class of men have the right to cramp 
the intellect of any set of men by such arbitrary dis- 
tinctions. If men, in the humbler spheres of life, are 
gifted with a genius superior to their parents, no arti- 
ficial arrrangements of society should be allowed to con- 
sign them to lowly occupations. All men have the 
natural right to rise to any position to which talent and 
energy may fit them. The coloured people of this 
country must assert this natural right. If they have 
fitness for the loftier spheres of activity; then perish 
every barrier which would 

" Cloud young genius brightening into day." 

What right has society, in this country, to say that no 
black man shall be an engineer, an architect, a manu- 
facturer, an artist, or a Senator? If God has given him 
the capacity for any such craft or position ; whence 
comes the authority to keep him in a servant's place and 
condition, merely on account of race? I say therefore 
that while indeed willing to serve in humble duties, we 
must resist the attempt to make us a caste of servants 
in the land. And the only way to effect this is by care- 
ful and systematic endeavors to secure a proper division 
of labour among us. By concert, by general under- 
standing, by wise forecast, by systematic action we must 
strive to introduce among the rising generation, every 
sort of trade and business which other men engage in. 


Can you tell me a single craft or calling in which 
white men are occupied, to which black men are utterly- 
unfitted ? Is there anything they do, which we can't do ? 

I have been referring this evening more especially to 
physical toil. I have said nothing concerning pro- 
fessional life, and the intellectual labours allied thereto ; 
and simply for the reason that I fear there is too often 
extravagance among young men, in this regard. Work, 
I fear, is getting to be ungenteel in some classes among 
us ; and so it comes to pass that many a good Barber, 
Caterer or Mechanic, is turned into a booby Doctor, or, 
a briefless Lawyer. 

How much better if they had spent the time lost on law 
books in endeavoring to build up a business, or in farm- 
ing; in successful catering, or the occupation of a 
trade. Clever physicians we have. Keen and success- 
ful lawyers honour our race at the Bar. May their 
numbers be multiplied. We need a large school of 
such clever and efficient men. But you and I know in- 
stances not a few, where young men would have done a 
deal better by abiding in the callings of their parents ; 
working with their hands ; and throwing as much talent 
and respectability as possible in the old family craft, 
humble though it be. 

If I could catch the ears of scores of such young 
men, whose vain ambition tires me, I would say — 
"Young men don't despise the humble positions of 
your parents. All the crafts of men are honourable. 
Dignify the toil of your family by your fine personal 
qualities. Raise their occupations, by genius and talent, 



to honour and competency. All work is honourable. 
Only throw brains, skill, energy and economy into your 
work ; and it will lead you on to success, to comfort, 
and perchance to wealth. Don't be too anxious for 
soft places. " Endure hardness as a true man." 

May I join to this another suggestion : that is, that 
no man, no class of men, leap into superiority. Society 
never, anywhere, leaps into progress, greatness or 
power. The black race in this land cannot leap into 
might and majesty. It is to reach the higher planes in 
just the same way all other peoples have, in all the past 
of human history. The same conditions apply to us as 
to them. And these conditions are, first, humble 
labour ; then, a gradual uprise ; and then dogged and 
persistent effort, unfailing hope, living and undying as- 
piration, and pluck and audacious ambition, which 
brooks no limitations in the spheres of enterprise ! In 
this process take the first step of the ladder ! Never 
mind how lowly duty may be. God has ordained that 
duty in the arrangements of society ! Take it ! Off 
with your coat. Bare your arms. Make a manly grasp 
of duty ; do that duty, well and thoroughly, as a man ; 
so that men on earth, and angels above you may see 
that it is work finished and complete ! 

And then, when that work is thoroughly done and 
the way is opened ; — and you must keep your eyes open 
to see the time and opportunity, — step out of that 
work, upon the next round of the ladder ; content there 
to abide: — but watchful for a higher vocation and a 
nobler field : — always alert to open your way, by manly 


resolution to a loftier vocation. And so go on, from 
one round of the ladder to another, and another; — if 
God so wills and helps. And there is no danger about 
your progress and success ; . if you are patient, indus- 
trious, vigilant and aspiring. 

" My Father worketh hitherto and I work." 

This is one of the most marvelous sayings which fell 
from the lips of the " Son of man !" I have studied it, 
year by year, through long periods of my life ; but 
never yet been able to get the plummet line whereby 
to fathom and to sound its mighty depths of meaning. 
But a few things lie upon its surface. 

The first of these is that while the primary signifi- 
cance of these words pertains to God's vast spiritual 
economy, it includes, likewise, the broad physical and 
material universe and the prodigious fabrics which He 
has produced therein. And second, it implies that work 
is one of the inherent necessities of all intelligent beings. 
To work is a law of existence with God, with Angels, 
and with men : and then, third, as we see that all the 
productions of the Divine hand, through all the realms 
of nature. 

" Up from the creeping plant to sovereign man," 

— all show, in all things evidence of law, system, organi- 
zation, so we may learn that the work of man is the 
noblest and most majestic which is characterized by in- 
telligence, and which manifests skill. In the work then 
of life let us eschew the ephemeral ; let us rise up as a 
people to the apprehension of the organic laws which 


pertain to all human endeavour; and so grasp the per- 
manent and abiding forces of nature and society: — 
and through them press on to power, to majesty, to 
wealth, and to social and political prerogatives which, 
ere long, will be the common inheritance of both our 
manhood and our intelligence ! 

an Aid to the Evangelization of Africa 

A Sermon to Barbadian Emigrants, at Trinity Church, Mon- 
rovia, Liberia, West Africa, May 14th, 1863. 


DEUTERONOMY xxvi. i— n. 

And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth 
thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein ; that thou shalt take of the 
first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the Lord thy God 
giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy 
God shall choose to place his name there. And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall 
be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the Lord thy God, that I am 
come unto the country which the Lord sware unto our fathers for to give us. And the 
priest shall take the basket outof thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the Lord 
thy God. And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to 
perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and 
became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: And the Egyptians evil-entreated 
us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage: And when we cried unto the Lord 
God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labor, 
and our oppression: And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, 
and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with won- 
ders: And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land 
that floweth with milk and honey And now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the 
land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God 
and worship before the Lord thy God: And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which 
the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and 
the stranger that is among you. 

THESE words are a part of that summing up of the 
Exodus, made by Moses to the Israelites, as he was on 
the eve of his departure, and they well nigh the close 
of their journey through the wilderness. The whole 
process of their colonization was now about to close ; 
the land of promise from the top of Pisgah, was suf- 
fered to greet his eyes j allotments of land, as the first 


lesson this evening showed us,* had been given to three 
of the tribes, and full preparations made for a new- 
chieftain to lead them across Jordan into the promised 
inheritance of the Lord. The Prophet avails himself 
of this pause in their history, to relate unto them all 
the marked peculiarities of their history and migration ; 
and to point out to them God's agency therein, and His 
intents and purposes. 

They had been nigh four hundred years in servitude 
in Egypt. Their fathers, during all their sojourn in 
that land, had suffered the keenest miseries and afflic- 
tions. But God had never suffered their bondage to 
be, entirely, at any time, unmixed and absolute evil. 
" In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel 
of his presence saved them : in his love and in his pity, 
he redeemed them." f Large providential favors were 
mingled with their sore trials ; in all their tribulations, 
they were still God's people ; much temporal pros-^ 
perity, yea, even miraculous increase had been given 
them ; the spectacle of high civilization was continu- 
ally set before their eyes. Thus, in various ways, they 
were going through a system of mental and moral 
training. God was preparing them then for another 
land, and far distant duties. Generations passed away ; 
and many a soul sank, and many a spirit fainted, and 
many a despairing man laid down and died ; but the 
work went on. By and by, when God was ready for 
his own large ends and purposes, then He commenced 
the processes and the policies for that noble work, 

♦Joshua i. \ Isaiah lxiii. 9. 


which tells, even in our day, in every Christian church 
and household in the world. The two special expedi- 
ents to that end were, First, colonization, at God's bid- 
ding, from Egypt; and Secondly, a re-settlement in the 
land of Canaan, under the immediate direction of the 

Doubtless it was a great trial to the children of Israel 
to leave that land, which time had now succeeded in 
making their home. How great a trial it was may be 
seen in their reluctance at the first, to follow the leader 
whom God had given them ; and in their frequent sigh- 
ings in the wilderness for their old home. " We remem- 
ber," said they, "the fish which we did eat in Egypt 
freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, 
and the onions, and the garlick; but now our soul is 
dried away ; there is nothing at all beside this manna, 
before our eyes."* 

But the hand of God was upon them ; and when His 
hand is upon a people, it is destiny, and they cannot 
resist it. His hand was upon them. His hand guided 
them through all that "terrible" journey through the 
wilderness, which never passed away from their memo- 
ries. For he had a great work for them to do ; and 
this process of migration was the passage, through 
which they were to enter upon and to do that work. 

This subject of colonization then is a pregnant one, 
and a sacred. We find it here in our Bibles, associated 
with some of the most important of God's plans and 
purposes. We find it here in the upturned faces of 

* Numbers xi. 45. 


many men, women, and children ; just touching our 
shores, singing the "songs of Zion," joining in olden 
Litanies, for the first time, " in a strange land," in this 
house of God. On this occasion, therefore, it will not 
seem unmeet that I call your attention to the subject of 
colonization, especially in its relation to God's great work 
of evangelization. 

I am afraid I shall be somewhat lengthy ; for it was 
only yesterday noon, I was requested to address you ; 
and I have had but one single day for preparation. 
And as I have written in very great haste I am sure I 
shall hardly be equal to the subject ; but I trust that 
under the circumstances, you will kindly bear with my 

I. The first point to which I beg to call your atten- 
tion is the fact that emigration and colonization have 
ever been among the commonest movements of man- 
kind. Nothing is more manifest in history than the 
wanderings of families and clans and tribes from one 
locality to another, creating new homes, and forming 
new nationalities. All along the tracks of time we see 
traces of such movements on every soil of earth. 
Indeed the fact of emigration is almost coeval with 
humanity itself; for it presents itself among the earliest 
of human records. It seems to have been a spontane- 
ous, instinctive tendency of human nature ; faint traces 
of such dispersions being discoverable, even before the 
days of Noah, among the descendants of Adam.* Then, 
immediately after the flood, so soon as family life began 

* Genesis vi. 1-5. 



again to show itself, we read the significant words, 
"These are the three sons of Noah, and of them the 
whole earth was overspread." * And the same idea is 
more explicitly set forth in the chapter following, where 
the like genealogy of Noah's family is given, and where 
we are told "that by these were the nations divided in 
the earth after the flood." | 

This, then, we may take as a germ of the whole his- 
tory of colonization. Here we stand at a great fountain- 
head of that broad stream of emigration which has filled 
all lands, and peopled multitudinous isles and conti- 
nents. After the deluge, burst three distinct groups of 
race and family, from the sons of Noah, each the com- 
mon parent of divers and renowned peoples, whose 
names and deeds have filled the pages of history. 

Then we have those great events of dispersion which 
scattered abroad the Tartars through Asia ; the move- 
ments, which, in remote history, peopled the isles of 
the Pacific; the migrations which spread abroad the 
Malay family through portions of both Africa and 
America; the navigations which sent the Phoenicians 
along the coasts of both Africa and Europe ; and those 
other great colonizing upheavals which have sent the 
Celtic race from Asia through all Europe. 

In more modern periods we ourselves have seen the 
Northern nations of Europe, streaming out from their 
crowded homes to their own antipodes; and these 
again reproducing the forms of their olden nationalities, 

* Ibid. ix. 19. f Ibid. x. 32. 


religion, and domestic life, amid the wildernesses of new 

They have gone out from their ancestral homes, in 
commercial ventures, in incipient colonies, in corpora- 
tions, in missions ; and have raised up on the shores of 
America, of New Holland, and even of Africa and Asia, 
States, and Commonwealths, and Empires, already- 
rivalling their father lands in population, in the energy 
of laws, in the influence of letters, in the vitalizing 
power of religion. 

And thus you may see that emigration is a marked 
feature of the world's history ; and that the transplanta- 
tion of fragments of the children of Africa to this West- 
ern Coast, is not an exceptional fact ; is not an isolated 
event. Colonization is history ; prompting whole races 
of men, and determining the destiny of nations and 

II. But in the second place I remark, that these 
migrations of men have been providential events, 
ordered and regulated by the Divine will. Emigration, 
I mean to say, is not a casual or fortuitous thing. Both 
in its facts, and in all the principles and ideas connected 
with it, we may discover evidences of a large and com- 
prehensive plan, which excludes all ideas of the acci- 
dental or adventitious. 

There is no such thing as chance. However con- 
venient the term may be, as descriptive of certain seem- 
ing occurrences, the idea, in strictness of meaning, can 
have no real existence. 


All human events have their place in that grand 
moral economy of God, in which He himself is an ever- 
present, ever-active agent; they are all elements and 
instruments in His hand, for the accomplishment of the 
august objects of His will. Doubtless they are ofttimes 
seemingly insignificant to us ; ofttimes mysterious ; but 
the eye of God sees their fitness to the ends* He has in 
view, and directs them to their proper issues. Owing 
to our finite vision, we are often long in tracing out 
these ends and issues. Sometimes we utterly fail the 
discovery of them. But this is one of the mental tasks 
the Almighty has set before us, and which constantly 
comes before us, in life and history, to scrutinize and 
solve. Thus, the simplest student of history can run 
back in a moment, in memory, to numerous events 
which were mysterious and inscrutable in their winding 
evolvements ; but which, in result have unfolded to 
sight most distinct evidences of divine intent and sacred 
purpose. And even thus is it with all human story ; 
whether dark and disastrous ; whether clear, bright, and 
propitious. The will of God overrules all the deeds, 
the counsels, and the designs of men, and tracks them 
from their unseen germs, invisible to sight, in the dark, 
secret, counsels of the human mind, to those manifest 
and notable deeds which rank among historic facts. If 
in design and issue they are good, then they come from 
God, whoever may be the agents by whom He works 
His will. Not that men are ever mere machines, even 
in God's hands ; but when righteous deeds are wrought, 
God either gives the large suggestion, or adjusts the fit 


position, or directs the concurring events, or orders the 
happy providence ; so that while men act on their own 
personal responsibility, they nevertheless act either 
consciously or unconsciously as the agents of God. 

So, on the other hand, if those deeds are evil, His 
controlling hand, although unseen, distracts their evil 
counsels, and directs them to the ends He purposes. 

So indeed has it been in all the world's history of 
colonization. The great, vital, permeating power, pro- 
pelling, guiding, checking, ordering it, has been the 
Spirit of God, resting upon, entering into the hearts of 
men, awing and governing them, albeit ofttimes un- 
known to themselves ; even as we read in the Divine 
Word that "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of 
the waters." 

I know indeed that there is a piety, (so called,) which 
divorces the<Almighty from the secularities of earth, 
and which would fain convince us that the God of the 
Bible has nothing to do with the profane histories of 
men ; which would, of necessity, leave the moral evils 
of the world to the disposal of some other great being 
besides our God. 

But what is this, I ask, but a profane and damning 
Manicheanism, which sets a god of evil upon the throne 
of the universe, right beside the One, Everlasting God, 
whom we own and reverence; dividing with Him the 
empire of creation, and with Him determining its moral 

We allow no such partnership in the moral govern- 
ment of God. We yield to no such heresies. We give 

Emigration. 415 

place to no such theories. They are abhorrent to our 
reason, to our creeds, to our teachings, to our religion. 
Dark and intricate as are many of the problems of life 
and history, we have learned to leave their solution to 
the providence of that one, sovereign, over-ruling Being, 
who "governeth all things in heaven and earth," and 
" ordereth the course of this world by His own govern- 

We see everywhere God's hand in history. We feel 
that its animating spirit is the breath of God. In all 
the movements of society, or the colonization of 
peoples, we see the clear, distinct, "finger of God;" 
ordering, controlling, directing the footsteps of men, of 
families, and of races. We apply this principle as well 
to those dark and disastrous histories, which, when we 
read them, pain our hearts, as to those grand and gra- 
cious ones, which stir our liveliest sensibilities. For 
while indeed God is not, and cannot be, "the author of 
evil," still He is Governor of the wicked, and exer- 
cises a masterful authority over their works and ways. 
And this is a great principle in God's moral govern- 
ment. He never allows evil to run, unchecked, its own 
wild and uncontrolled career, and to have its own way. 
God always checks and thwarts sin in its workings, and 

• • • 

in its intended mischief. Wherever He sees wrong, He 
steps in and interferes, to turn it some way into good ; 
even as when Adam sinned, He began at once a scheme 
to counteract the malignant influence of Satan. 

In what other way, I ask, will you account for those 
marked incidents in human history, where, from seem- 


ing disastrous causes, have flowed out most signal and 
saving results? Look, for instance, at the early history 
of the Israelites. See the way in which God brought 
them into Egypt. Note their four centuries of servi- 
tude there ; and then, at length, their triumphal exodus 
therefrom under Moses. And now can you, or you, or 
any other man, blind your eyes to the fact, that all the 
magnitude of this story grew out of the providential 
events connected with the sale of Joseph by his wicked 
brethren? And then, if you place this large fact beside 
its seeming insignificant causes, how can you do other- 
wise than did Joseph himself, that is, run up from the 
painful details of his sufferings to the sublime philoso- 
phy which he announces to them: — "It was not you 
which sent me hither but God ! ".* And what does this 
suggest but the immediate remembrance of that signal 
parallel of history, so painful and so personal to our- 
selves, viz : the forced and cruel migration of our race 
from this continent, and the wondrous providence of 
God, by which the sons of Africa, by hundreds and by 
thousands, trained, civilized, and enlightened, are com- 
ing hither again ; bringing large gifts, for Christ and 
his Church, and their heathen kin ! 

I know indeed that other, darker thoughts, are the 
more natural ones to our fallen nature. I know how 
much more prone we are to dwell upon our griefs and 
injuries, than the merciful providences which are inter- 
twined therewith. And I must perforce yield some- 

* Genesis xlv; 8. 

Emigration. 417 

what, to-day, to the melancholy musings which con- 
template, with anguish, ancestral wrongs. 

Think, indeed, if you please ; think, as you cannot but 
think, when you stand upon this soil, and look abroad 
upon that ocean, once so disastrous to our poor fore- 
fathers ; — think of that long, long, night of agony and 
desolation which covered Africa, as with a pall, gener- 
ations upon generations ! Think of that fearful hurri- 
cane of disaster and death, which, for nigh three hun- 
dred years, has swept over the towns and villages and 
hamlets of this Western Coast, even to the far interior, 
carrying agony to multitudinous breasts of parents and 
helpless children ! Think of that bloody and murder- 
ous colonization, which, in the holds of numberless 
"pestiferous barks," bore millions of men and women 
and babes into a forced exile, to foreign strands ! Think 
of all the murder, and carnage, and revenge, and suicide, 
and slaughter, on this continent and the other, which 
flowed from all this dark history, as a black river of 
death ! Think of that glorious sea, made to image the 
majesty of its Maker ; despoiled of its beauty, dyed with 
human gore, blackened with human crime, robbed of 
its harmony, and made to send up, through long centu- \ 
ries, one ceaseless wail of despair and woe to a just and , 
holy God ! Think of all the painful tasks, the forced 
labor, the want, the deprivation, the lashings and scourg- 
ings, the premature deaths ; continued from generation 
to generation, on many and many a plantation ; trans- 
mitted as the only inheritance of poor helpless human- 
ity, to children's children ! 


Think of all these things, which are indeed but par- 
tial pictures of many a sad tale from the lips of your 
fathers and mine ; their own sad experience, or that of 
their sires ; and yet when you have told all this dread 
story, I would turn with you to another and a fairer 
page. Amid all the morbidity of these cancering 
thoughts, my mind, I must confess, would fain run out 
to the adjustments and compensations which a just and 
holy God has intermingled with dark and mysteri- 
ous dispensations. And a brief reference to this feature 
of divine Providence will justify, I think, such peculi- 
arity of thought. 

For, first of all, our forefathers, in remote genera- 
tions, " when they knew God, glorified him not as God," 
and "did not like to retain Him in their knowledge;" 
and from age to age their sons, our ancestors, wandered 
off further and further from the true God, and kept 
heaping abominations upon abominations through long 
centuries, until the divine patience was exhausted, and 
God withdrew from our sires and their habitations, and 
extinguished the " forbearance and long-suffering" of 
ages ; which is the direst wrath ! 

And then it was that the Almighty permitted the 
most cruel of all marauders to devastate this coast, and 
to carry off its people into foreign slavery. And most 
terrible was all this retribution upon Africa and her sons. 

Here it rained anguish and woe for centuries. " And 
the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a 
furnace." * And the exiled children of Africa, in distant 

* Genesis xix. 28 


lands, were made "an astonishment, and an hissing, and 
perpetual desolations."* But mercy was mingled with 
all this wrath. Their lot was caste in the lands of men 
where the cross shone from their temple-spires, and the 
Bible was read at their altars. Terrible as was the or- 
deal of slavery, yet God restrained the wrath of their 
oppressors; not seldom did he turn the. hearts of 
Christian masters and mistresses to them and their 
children; catechisings were commenced on many a 
plantation ; schools, in course of time, began to multi- 
ply ; a missionary, now and then, was sent to the colo- 
nies ; right beside scourgings, and lacerations, and law- 
less legal murders, teaching and training, preaching and 
conversions, anti-slavery questionings, and emancipa- 
tions were carried on ; until now, at the close of nigh 
three centuries, millions of the children of Africa, on 
the isles and continent of America, have been turned 
from the paganism of their fathers ; " the people that sat 
in darkness have seen a great light;" God has redeemed 
this injured people, and fearfully scourged their oppres- 
sors ; tens of thousands of them, in all the lands of their 
thraldom, have received the enlightenment which comes 
from books and seminaries, from the Bible and churches ; 
and now, as the end of all this chapter of providence, 
God is bringing scores and hundreds of them back to 
this continent, as colonists and merchants ; as mission- 
aries and catechists and teachers ; and with them " casts 
th.e pearl of the gospel," f upon these heathen shores ! 

•Jeremiah xxv. 9. 

t This expression is borrowed from Marvell's [the Puritan's] " Song of the Emigrants 
in Bermuda." It is interesting to see that the Poet associates missionary duty with colo- 
nization adventure:— 


"He cast 
The Gospel's pearl upon our coast; 
And in these rocks for us did frame 
A temple where to sound His name. 
O let our voice His praise exalt 
Till it arrive at Heaven's vault, 
Which then perhaps rebounding may 
Echo beyond the Mexique bay !" 

And now, when I look at the noble work which God 
has manifestly set before us and our children in this 
land, and think, especially, of the marvelous way by 
which God has brought us to it; I feel as if I could 
laugh to scorn all the long line of malignant slave- 
traders who have defiled and devastated this wretched 
coast of Africa, and fling in their teeth the gracious 
retort of Joseph : " As for you, ye thought evil 
against us, but God meant it unto good, to save much 
people alive." * For that, I maintain, that is, " to 
save much people alive," that is the great mission of 
our race to this coast: to turn this heathen popula- 
tion " from darkness to light, and from the power 
of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness 
of sins, and inheritance among them who are sanctified 
by faith."| 

III. And this leads me to consider the lesson which, 
evidently, springs from the train of remark I have set 

* The largest, the most distinct illustration of this fact is the case of " recaptured" 
Africans at Sierra Leone. From this body of redeemed men have sprung two of the most 
marked movements for the redemption of Africa, in modern times, i. The emigration of 
Christian Yorubans, to the Egba country; which laid the foundation of the Abeokutan 
mission. 2. The mission of my friend, Bishop Crowther — himself a native Yoruban — to 
the banks of the Niger. 

t Acts, xxvi. 17. 


before .you to-day. The lesson is that of duty and 
spiritual obligation to Africa, through us, her exiled 
sons, returning to the bosom of our mother. - 

The day of preparation for our race is well nigh 
ended; the day of duty and responsibility on our part, 
to suffering, benighted, Africa, is at hand. In much 
sorrow, pain, and deepest anguish, God has been pre- 
paring the race, in foreign lands, for a great work of 
grace on this continent. The hand of God is on the 
black man, in all the lands of his distant sojourn, for 
the good of Africa. 

This continent is to be reclaimed for Christ. The 
faith of Jesus is to supercede all the abounding desola- 
tions of heathenism. And the church of Christ is to 
enter in, in His name, and to subdue, by the Spirit, its 
crowded populations to His yoke, and to claim the 
whole continent for her Lord. 

In this work the colored populations of America are 
largely to participate. They, whether living on the 
mainland, in the States ; or residing as inhabitants of 
the Antilles ; or sojourning in the Republics of the 
South ; or dwelling in the Brazilian Empire ; are to be 
active agents of God for the salvation of Africa. A 
REMNANT of all these peoples, thus widely scattered ; 
for it is by "remnants," "the called," the "chosen," 
the "elect;" that God works the marvels of his provi- 
dence, as well as of His grace; a remnant of these 
peoples, prompted either by the immediate Spirit of 
God, or moved by collateral influences, are to be trans- 
planted from their distant homes, amid this heathen 


population, with domestic habits, civilized customs, and 
Christian institutions. * 

A portion of them have already been brought into 
compliance with these manifest providential arrange- 
ments. By a most singular and favoring providence, 
thousands of American emigrants have crossed the 
wide ocean, and taken up their residence in this Re- 
public. Here we are touching and influencing, in divers 
ways, thousands of heathen natives. Our mission is 
evidently to organize the native labor all around us ; to 
ifttroduce regulating and controlling law among them; 
to gather their children into schools, in order to train their 
intellects , to make these people civilized and Christian 
people ; and to incorporate them into our Republic as citi- 
zens, and into the Church of God as brethren! 

Some little of this great work we have already done 
among our native tribes; but 14,000 Christians are but 
a handful of people among a half million of heathen. 
The work is too vast and weighty for the paucity of our 
numbers. Hence we have become painfully impressed 
with the necessity of large additions to our civilized, 
Christian population. We need more capable men and 
women in the land. It is not that we lack labor ; for 
we have tens of thousands of natives, all through the 
country ; and all that is needed to secure that labor, is 
skillful treaties, judicious alliances, just remuneration, 

* Men of African descent, from Jamaica, Antigua, Barbadoes, St. Thomas, Demerara, 
and Irom more than half of the States of America, are now laboring on the West Coast of 
Africa, as missionaries and teachers ; at Pongas, Sierra Leone, in Liberia, at Cape Coast, 
at Lagos, and at the Cameroons. It is also worthy of notice that nigh 2,000 " emancipa- 
dos" have returned during late years, from Brazil to Lagos. 



and humane treatment, to supply any demand we can 
make upon kings and headmen in the interior. Our 
need is that of civilized Christian black men to join us in 
the great work Providence has set before us as duty in 
this land. 

Hence the Legislature of Liberia, prompted by the 
late President Benson, in the year 1861, commissioned 
three citizens of this Republic, * to invite emigration, 
on the part of our own brethren in the United States of 
America, and in the West Indies. More recently the 
present chief magistrate of our Republic, Hon. D. B. 
Warner, issued a proclamation, inviting especially, the 
colored population dwelling in the West India islands 
to emigrate to this Republic. His proclamation ac- 
corded entirely with the desires of hundreds in those 
islands, especially in the island of Barbadoes ; and at a 
very early day news reached this country of the deter- 
mination of our Barbadian friends to come over, and join 
us in our work. But great difficulties intervened ; more 
than one delay occurred ; by and by the friends of 
African colonization in the United States came to the 
rescue ; a large appropriation of money was made by 
the "American colonization society," and the whole 
project of the emigration of these brethren was gener- 
ously and graciously assumed by this Society. The 
difficulties being thus removed, information was com- 
municated to this country that we might confidently 
look for an emigration this year from the island of 

* The commission appointed was Rev, Alex, Crummell, Rev. E. W. Blyden, and J. 
P. Johnson, Esq. 


And they have come. They have come from a home 
of civilization and refinement, but where a close-crowded 
population, the painful remembrances of past servitude, 
and a yet existent spirit of caste, robbed them of many 
of the feelings of home, and long suggested to them 
ideas of voluntary exile. They have come, rejecting 
the offers of other and wealthier colonies, electing from 
choice, and interest, a heritage amid the negro race, in 
the land of their fathers. They have come, tired of an 
alien rule, wearied, as we were, with the position of 
strangers in their native land, to become citizens in a 
negro nationality and the creators of a free Republic 
amid despotic heathenism. 

They have come with their hoes and their spades, 

with their scythes and their axes, to humble the forests 

of Africa, and to subdue the soil to the purposes of 

civilized culture. They have come with their " young 

and with their old, with their sons and with their 

daughters," come across the wide ocean, to set up their 

standards, and to make new homes in this Western 

i Africa. They have come with their Bibles and Prayer- 

| books, with their Christian creeds and their family altars, 

j to reproduce the faith and the forms of Christianity, 

amid the idolatries of their father-land. 

! Children of the Antilles ! Sons of " Little England," 

beautiful Barbadoes ! We welcome you to this the land 

of your forefathers. We welcome you to this heritage 

of freedom and civil prerogative ! We welcome you to 

a full participation with us in governmental rights and 

national responsibility ! We welcome you to a common 


burden of duty and obligation in this infant state ; yet 
we believe, to become, in our children, a nation that 
will excite the admiration of the world ! We welcome 
you to all the obligations of the Church of God, placed 
in the midst of the heathen, and henceforth made re- 
sponsible for their training and salvation ! 

You saw yourselves how warm and generous was the 
greeting of the Emigrant Agent who first met you on 
your arrivaL And since then you have had the hand- 
grasp of brotherhood from our chief magistrate, the 
President, who hailed you from afar, and saluted you 
even before you left your former homes for this. In 
this salutation all people of standing and respectability 
in this community, all classes of our population join, 
and hail you, at once, as comrades and fellow-citizens. 

You see with your own eyes the unpretending con- 
dition of our Republic. We are no ancient State, no 
advanced and aged government, with a burdened treas- 
ury and overflowing coffers. Our Government is the 
latest born of time, and we stand to-day, the least among 
the nations. Liberia is a young country, laying, as I 
dare to affirm, good foundations, but with much pain, 
great trials, consuming anxieties, and with the price of 
great tribulation, and much mortality. 

You will not look therefore for that large govern- 
mental patronage which ancient kingdoms and wealthy 
republics are able to give new emigrants to their shores 
or colonies. 

But, unofficial as I am, in all my relations, I feel that 
I may venture the declaration, that all that skill, and 


forecast, and perseverance, and brotherly regard, and 
the prompted sympathies of Christian love can do, to 
make your way, in this new, rough land, easy and com- 
fortable and satisfactory, will be done by the authori- 
ties to whom you have already paid your respects, and 
who are interested in your welfare. 

Already you have- been assured of the allotments 
which are to become your family possessions for all the 
future of yourselves and children. On those rich and 
fertile lands you will soon erect your habitations and 
commence your toil. There you will work your farms, 
and commence those laborious preparations which, with 
but half of the spent labor of your past lives, if it be 
systematic and persistent, will soon lay the foundations 
of broad and solid wealth. But brethren, vital and im- 
portant as are these family and economical interests, 
they are but subsidiary to that one great, master inter- 
est and cause, which lies at the base of all this emigra- 
tion, both yours and ours, to this our father-land, viz. : 
The evangelization of this section of the continent. 

We have been sent hither in God's providence, civili- 
zers and evangelizers of these our heathen kinsmen 
around us. We are placed here, without doubt, the 
pioneers of the Christian Church, in all this special re- 
gion. For this we all have been trained and schooled 
in the lands, respectively, of our trial and suffering; we 
in the United States ; you in Barbadoes ; in the one 
blessed Church " in whose bowels we were all bred, at 
whose breast we received nourishment" from our youth 
to manhood, We all, with our families, are the agents 


and ministers of this Church, in this land, for the propa- 
gation of the faith. 

Other work indeed, we have here ; but it is only col- 
lateral to this. Trade, agriculture, commerce, art, 
letters, government, are other great features of our mis- 
sion here, and ruinous will it be for us to despise or to 
neglect them ; but they are only auxiliary «to that one 
great, master service, which God has imposed upon us 
and you, viz., to glorify God's name, and to plant His 
Church amid this heathen population ! 

You are going out from this spot, in a day or two, to 
the uncleared lands, on the border line between our 
civilized communities and the heathen. Carry with you 
there all the elements of the faith, all the marks of your 
Church in their fullness and integrity. Lift high in 
your families and communities, the standard of the 
cross. Suffer not, by even one jot or one tittle, the 
least diminution ih your townships of your Christian 
principles and your Christian habits. Erect at once, 
the family altar; and let the incense of prayer and 
praise ascend, morning and evening, from your as- 
sembled households. 

Be tender and pitiful and earnest to the heathen 
around you for their souls' sake, and for Christ; but 
resist, steadfastly, especially for your children's sake, 
their vicious habits, and their corrupting influences.* 

Cling to all the simple teachings of your catechism, 
especially to that one, strong, forceful precept, " to do 
your duty in that state of life unto which it shall please 

*See Lev. xvii. 3, Jer. x. 2 — 8, 


God to call you." Hold on, with tenacity, to all the 
doctrines and the truths contained in that " form of 
sound words," by which you have been trained, and 
taught to worship. Above all, make the Word of God 
"the man of your counsel;" keep open Bibles in your 
houses ; and not only read them yourselves, but teach 
your children, and your heathen servants, should you 
have any, to read them daily, for guidance in all things, 
as well secular as divine. 

Go forth then, Christian pilgrims, with all the deep 
resolve of serious men, and in the fear of God. Let the 
sentiments and motives which come from heaven prompt 
you in all your actions. Ye have done right well in 
coming up here to Holy Communion this morning; in 
offering your " first fruits" on " coming into the land 
which the Lord your God has given you." Abide in 
the spirit of this beginning. Remember, I beseech you, 
the warnings and the monitions of the second Lesson 
for this evening.* Carry them with you to your new 
homes in the wilderness. Preserve the spirit of them in 
your hearts and households ; and then God will be with 
you. He will help you, and your children, and the 
generations which may succeed you. And so a bless- 
ing shall go out from you through all the land ; and as 
your settlements spread out into the interior, every 
town, every family, shall become the centre of a wide 
circumference of godly influence. Yea, every footfall, 
as your population advances, shall tell powerfully for 
Christ. And thus the widening circles of Christian in- 
fluence, from us, and from all the other centres of gospel 

•ICor. x. 5. 


truth on this coast, shall, in early centuries, embrace 
this entire heathen population, until the whole conti- 
nent is reclaimed, and rises up regenerated, to sing the 
praises of the Lamb ! 

And even thus will it be. Yes ! land of our fore- 
fathers ; land of woe and agony ; land of pains and suf- 
fering and anguish ! Thy exiled children think of thee ! 
Their hearts, filled with sympathy and desire, run to- 
ward thee ! Already have they come to thy shores ; 
already hast thou heard the voice of some of thy re- 
turned children, along the mountain sides, and in thy 
valleys ; preaching the glad tidings ! But this is but a 
dim forecasting of that large stream of blessedness, 
which thy children in distant lands are preparing for 
thee ! For the day is at hand ! The sons of Africa 
will soon arise, and come in crowds, priests and cate- 
chists and teachers, to thy shores ; their feet beautiful — 
" bringing good tidings," " publishing salvation." Soon 
they will spread themselves abroad through all thy 
quarters. Schools and churches, and Christian col- 
leges will spring up throughout thy borders. The 
Spirit of the Lord God, according to His promise, will 
be poured out upon millions of thy sons. " Christ shall 
see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied." 
The Lord God shall hasten the number of His elect; 
and the tide of salvation, sweeping along, in one broad, 
mighty current, shall bear along the mighty masses of 
thy people to salvation and to glory ; and then " Ethio- 
pia," from the Mediterranean to the Cape, from the 
Atlantic Ocean to the Indian, " shall soon stretch forth 
her hands unto God." 

The Regeneration of Africa. 

A Discourse before the Pennsylvania Colonization Society; 

Church of the Epiphany, Philadelphia, Pa. t 

October, 1865. 


" Go, ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the 
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."— Malt, xxviii, 


THESE words form the basis of all the missionary 
zeal which characterizes the Christian era. They are 
the ground-work of all those labors, sufferings and sac- 
rifices which have made the Christian religion the fore- 
most of all faiths, and the Christian Church the most 
powerful of all agencies. 

In obedience to this command of our Lord, the 
apostles lay themselves out at once, in most painful 
endeavors. The borders of the church are widened. 
The new faith straightway asserts its authority in every 
part "of the Holy Land ; soon it runs up into Asia Minor. 
The Apostle Paul, at an early period, carries the banner 
of the Cross into Greece ; and Europe, for the first time, 
is brought under its influence. It runs with irresistible 
power along the banks of the Mediterranean to the 
farthest regions of the West — to the Provinces of Spain. 
It permeates all the dominions of Rome: and then 
when lodged as the most vital principle in this the 
grandest of ancient nations, it marches thence in power, 


making conquest after conquest, until at length it 
destroys all the paganisms of Europe, and gains su- 
premacy in all its nations, from Britain to the Ural 

In the fifteenth century Columbus discovered this 
Western continent; and Christianity crosses the seas, 
erects the standard of the Cross on the shores of the 
New World, and eventually secures supremacy in every 

Just previous to the commencement of this century, 
the Christian Church, in Europe and in America, bent 
her energies for the conquest for Christ of the Pacific 
Isles. Grand results have been vouchsafed her evan- 
gelical endeavors. Idolatry, in some islands, has been 
entirely destroyed. Nations there have been born in a 
day ; and such is the influence of Christianity that the 
destruction of paganism is a certain event, and at no 
distant day. Thus, then, has the religion of Jesus, 
visited with saving power, Europe, America, large 
sections of Asia, and the isles of the sea. But one 
great, melancholy contrast presents itself; two thousand 
years have passed away, and yet Africa, with her hun- 
dreds of millions of souls is still heathen ! The abom- 
inations of paganism still prevail through all her vast 
domains ! 

But, notwithstanding this melancholy fact Ethiopia is 
yet to "stretch forth her hands unto God." Our Lord's 
command to "Go into all the world and preach his 
Gospel," is as well a prophecy as a mandate. When he 
enjoins this duty, the command expresses His will that 


His Church shall yet "Go into ALL the world," and 
preach the "glad tidings." 

And now the question arises — "How SHALL THE 

1. I answer, first of all, that Africa cannot be re- 
deemed by her own unaided energy and agency. If 
left thus to herself for regeneration, her pagan popula- 
tions can never become spiritually enlightened. You 
cannot find one single instance where a rude, heathen 
people, have raised themselves by their own sponta- 
neous energy from a state of paganism to one of spirit- 
ual superiority. In every instance that we know of, 
where men have been morally elevated, they have 
always liad the missions, from superior people, of either 
letters or grace, as the origination -of such elevation. 

2. Again, I remark that the redemption of Africa 
cannot be effected through the influence of trade and 
commerce. That commerce is a beneficent auxiliary 
for African progress, may readily be granted ; but we 
have no evidence of its regenerating power. So far as 
Africa is concerned, we know somewhat the nature of 
its' influence. Commerce with Africa commenced prior 
to the discovery of America. The Portuguese traders 
voyaged along its coast as far as Guinea, fully sixty 
years previous to the adventures of Columbus.* And 
now three centuries of West African commerce have 
passed away ; and where are the saving results which 
have proceeded from it? Where are the signs of its 
quickening influence? Where the proofs of its saving 

* Western Africa. By Rev. I. L. Wilson, Ch. iii. 


energy? Why, the history of West African commerce 
is a history of rapine, murder, and wide-spread devasta- 
tion, all along the coast to the far interior ! The trader 
has, indeed, been there ; but, alas, he has left behind 
him but exaggerated barbarism and a deeper depth of 
moral ruin ! 

3. I add still further, that the redemption of Africa 
cannot be brought about through the one single agency 
of foreign missionaries. Without their presence and 
primal agency, the Gospel is not likely to enter any 
land. They must, from necessity, first carry missions 
and letters to Africa ; first plant the germs of churches 
all along that coast. The superior and more enlight- 
ened peoples are always the. founders of a new faith, or 
the pioneers of a fresh civilization, in rude and pagan 
countries. But though the first beginnings, and the 
quickening start come from them, the permanent work 
is always completed by indigenous agencies. 

Thus must it be in West Africa. All history proves 
this. Nothing can be more suggestive, and certainly 
nothing can be more distressful, than the history of 
European effort to plant the faith on the West Coast of 

The Roman Catholics commenced their efforts in the 
fifteenth century. For near two hundred years, they 
had the kingdom of Congo almost entirely under their 
power ; and yet they effected nothing ! * They lacked 
the native agency. Just so it was with the efforts of 
the Moravians in the last century; of the Scotch Pres- 

* Grant's Bampton Lectures, p. 155. 

The regeneration of Africa. 437 

byterians ; of the Church of England. Their missions 
were swept away as by a pestilence ; the fields of their 
labor left unoccupied ! and their stations had to be 
given up.* 

The great principle which lies at the basis of all suc- 
cessful propagation of the Gospel is this, namely, the 
employment of all indigenous agency. Christianity 
never secures thorough entrance and complete authority 
in any land, save by the use of men and minds some- 
what native to the soil. And from the very start of the 
Christian faith this idea has always been illustrated in 
the general facts of its conquest. 

In the work of Jewish evangelization our Lord him- 
self employed the agency of Jews. For the evangeliza- 
tion of Greeks, he employed, indeed, Jews, but Jews 
who had become hellenized. At an early period the 
Romans were to be brought under the influence of 
Christianity; and although the faith was introduced 
among them by an agency which was exotic, yet 
Romans themselves stamped the impress of the faith 
upon the Empire, and strangled nigh to death, in less 
than three centuries, its fierce and vulpine paganism. 
So, in like manner, it became rooted in the soil of 
Britain. So, likewise, at a later period, in Russia and 
Scandinavia. Hardly a generation passed away, in 
either of these cases, ere the zealous and adventurous 
pioneers of the new system resigned their work, and 
handed over their prerogatives to the hardy and con- 
victed sons of the soil. 

* Colonization and Missions. By Rev. Joseph Tracy, D. D. 


It seems clear, then, that for the evangelization of 
any country, the main instrumentality to be set to work 
is that of men of like sentiments, feelings, blood and 
ancestry, with the people whose evangelization is de- 
sired. The faith, so to speak, must needs become in- 
corporated with a people's mental, moral, and even 
physical constitution — vitalize their being, and run 
along the channels of their blood. 

Now this principle applies, in common with all other 
lands, to Africa. It is, under God, the condition of the 
success of the Cross throughout that vast continent. 

All this, however, is but theory. The facts which 
more especially prove it, are the successful missions of 
the English in West Africa, both Episcopal and Wes- 
leyan. Nothing can be more glorious than the heroic, 
almost god-like self-sacrifice of their missionaries, for 
nigh forty years, to introduce Christianity among the 
natives ; nothing, on the other hand, more discouraging 
than the small results which at first followed their 
efforts. But by-and-by, one native and then another, 
and another was raised up, fitted and prepared to be 
preachers of the Gospel. The Christian faith had be- 
come engrafted upon the native stock. It swelled with 
the inspirations of their breath ; it coursed along the 
channels of their veins. Then the truth began to 
spread ; it had lodged itself in a new race and began to 
assert its authority in a new land. The new soil was 
genial; and the Divine principle, although trans- 
planted, put forth all its original vitality. As when a 
new plant or seed is brought from some distant country 


to a new land, akin in soil and climate to its parent bed, 

it shoots up and spreads abroad with all its former 
vigor and luxuriance ; so Christianity, so soon as it be- 
came indigenous to Africa, commenced a successful 
career ; and now mission stations are to be found two 
thousand miles along the coast ; catechists, by scores 
are employed ; ministers are preaching the Gospel on 
the coast and in the interior. Missions conducted by 
native clergymen, are being carried into the strongholds 
of ancient, sanguinary kingdoms ; and are advancing, 
with authority and power, up the great Niger, towards 
the very heart of the continent. 

And in all this we see illustrated the great principle 
that, for the propagation of the faith, the main lever 
and agency must needs be indigenous. The faith, at 
first, is an exotic, in all new lands; but, in order to 
make its roots strike deep into the new soil, men, native 
in blood, lineage, feelings, and sentiments, must needs 
be raised up and put to active effort. 

Now, the Almighty, in a most marvelous manner, has 
been providing just this agency, with almost every 
indigenous quality, for the propagation of the faith on 
the continent of Africa. Millions of the Negro race 
have been stolen from the land of their fathers. They 
have been the serfs, for centuries, on the plantations 
and in households, in the West Indies and the United 
States, of civilized and Christian people. By contact 
with Anglo-Saxon culture and religion, they have, 
themselves, been somewhat permeated and vitalized by 
the civilization and the Christian principles of their 


superiors. Numbers of them have become emigrants, 
settlers, denizens of a free Republic, and of thriving 
colonies of the British on the West Qoast of Africa; 
and numbers more of them ever and anon emigrate 
from the lands of their past thraldom back, not unfre- 
quently, to the very spots whence their parents were 
first stolen. And these emigrants almost invariably 
profess the faith of Jesus. They are Christian emi- 
grants, journeying across the wide ocean, with Bibles, 
and Prayer Books, and Tracts, and Sermons, and family 
altars, seeking a new home amid the heathen popula- 
tion of Africa. 

Now, I say, that when you send out such companies 
of people, you send Christianity to Africa ; and I would 
fain emphasize this remark, and invite attention to it. 

If you send a missionary to Africa, you send, indeed, 
a good, holy, faithful minister ; but he is but an indi- 
vidual ; he may, or he may not, plant Christianity in 
the field. 'The probability is that he will not ; for the 
greatest of saints can only represent a partial Christi- 
anity. Hence the likelihood, the almost certainty is, 
that his work will have to be followed up by others. 
When, therefore, you send a single individual, as a mis- 
sionary, you do not necessarily send Christianity to 
Africa ; albeit you send a devoted Christian. 

On the other hand, when you send out a company of 
Christian emigrants, you send a church. Planted on 
the coast of Africa, its rootlets burst forth on one side 
and another like the "little daughters" of the plantain 
in a tropical soil. 


But facts are more powerful, more convincing than 
mere theories. I will, therefore, attempt briefly to 
illustrate this principle by facts : 

I . The Presbyterians have a school in Pennsylvania 
called the "Ashmun Institute," for the training of 
colored men for missionary duty in Africa. A few 
years ago, three of these students left the United States 
with their families, as emigrants to Liberia. Now, 
when the Presbyterians sent forth this little company 
of Christians, they sent out organized Christianity to 
heathen Africa. In each of those little bands, there 
was "the church in the house," with the Bible and the 
preacher, and baptized children; the germs of a new 
outgrowth of Christianity in the future. Civilization, 
moreover, was allied to all their life, work and habits, 
in their new homes. 

And these men, settled at Liberia, take root there ; 
increase is given to their families there as well as here. 
Native heathen also come into their families, work for 
them in their gardens, in their work-shops, and on their 
farms ; are touched by their civilized habits, and moved 
by their family prayers and Sunday teachings. As 
their children grow up, they, in their turn, become the 
centres, to other heathen, of new and wider influences, 
both civilizing and Christian. Native converts become 
incorporated with them in the household of faith. By- 
and-by these native converts raise up Christian chil- 
dren ; who, in some cases, are married to persons of 
the emigrant stock ; and thus the native and the emi- 
grant blood, at times, both Christianized, flow, mingled 


together, through the veins of a new race, thoroughly- 
indigenous and native. 

Now, just such power, strength, and permanent influ- 
ence cannot go forth from your foreign missionary; 
because he is an exotic. Beneath the burning sun of 
Africa he withers and pines away, and alas, too often 
dies, a glorious martyr for Christianity ! And when he 
departs to paradise, his wife and children return to 
Europe or America, weak, enfeebled, bereaved ; but 
they rarely have permanent influence in Africa ! 

The black Christian emigrant, on the other hand, is 
indigenous, in blood, constitution, and adaptability. 
Two centuries of absence from the continent of Africa, 
has not destroyed his physical adaptation to the land 
of his ancestors. There is a tropical fitness, which in- 
heres in our constitution, whereby we are enabled, when 
we leave this country, to sit down under an African 
sun ; and soon, and with comparative ease, feel our- 
selves at home, and move about in the land as though 
we had always lived there. Children, too, are born to 
us in our adopted country, who have as much strength 
and vitality as native children ; and soon we find our- 
selves establishing families right beside those of our 
heathen kinsfolk. 

Now you can easily see what a powerful influence 
that denomination of Christians — the Presbyterians — 
can wield by such an agency as I have described, to 
bless and save Africa. They send thither living, con- 
crete, organic, indigenous Christianity in the young 
men and their families, trained at their Institute ; send 


it there to abide ; to be reproduced in their children ; 
to be spread out in their families ; and not to be an 
evanescent and fugitive thing, without root in the soil, 
and void of bud, and fruit, and flower ; nor yet a tender 
exotic, needing a hot-house carefulness and nurture ; 
but a thing of life and robustness, mindless of sun and 
dews, and storms and tempests, fitted to every circum- 
stance of life and nature ! 

Such is the great power which the Almighty has 
given our Presbyterian brethren for planting Christianity 
in Africa. 

2. But here is another illustration of the same power, 
which, just at this time, is given the Baptists of this 
country, for the same blessed work for Christianity and 
Africa. Only two months ago, one hundred and fifty 
colored Baptists in Virginia applied for passage to 
Liberia for themselves and children. No inducements 
were held out to them; no persuasions used among 
them. It was a spontaneous movement of their own. 
I may add, here, that I am told by a student in the 
Episcopal " Divinity School," in this city, that he had 
seen in Virginia colored Baptist ministers, men moved, 
we may believe, by the Spirit of God, who were seeking 
opportunities to get to Africa to preach the Gospel. 
These ministers, these emigrants, wish to go to Africa 
to remain there. They are seeking a home for them- 
selves and their children in that, the land of their sires. 
They desire to go back to their fatherland, and to root 
themselves and their offspring in the ancestral soil, and 
to send down their blood and lineage, amid the scenes 


and the rights which were familiar to their unfortunate 

3. And now tell me what nobler plan could the great 
Baptist denomination fall upon, than just this provi- 
dential movement, to effect that which is dear to their 
hearts, and to the hearts of all Christians — the redemp- 
tion of Africa ! Arid what a living thing would not 
their work be, if, perchance, they could plant some half 
dozen compact, intelligent, enterprising villages of such 
Christian people, amid the heathen populations of West 
Africa ! 

4. But now, even at the risk of wearying you, I will ad- 
vert briefly to one more most distinct and providential 
illustration of this principle. There is the island of 
Barbadoes, a British colony ; it contains a black popula- 
tion of 130,000 people. For years these people have 
had organizations among themselves, intending emigra- 
tion to West Africa. Two years ago the President of 
Liberia extended an official invitation to the sons of 
Africa in the West Indies to come over to Liberia, and 
aid us in the great work of Christianity and civilization 
which God has imposed upon us. And the response 
from these our brethren was immediate. Just a week 
before I sailed from Liberia, the brig " Corn," from 
Barbadoes, arrived in the " Roads of Monrovia" with 
346 emigrants. The most of these persons were Epis- 
copalians ; well-trained handicraftsmen, skillful sugar- 
makers, intelligent, spirited, well-educated persons. 
Not merely hundreds, but thousands more of their kins- 
folk and fellow-islanders, in Barbadoes, stand ready, nay, 


anxious, to colonize themselves in the Republic of 

Whose work is this ? Who has prompted this move- 
ment of Christian black men from Barbadoes, back to 
the land of their ancestors ; laden with gifts, and talents ; 
sanctified, as numbers of them are, by the spirit of 
grace? Who, but the Spirit of God is mo.ving these 
Christian "remnants" of black society — this seed of 
civilization — from the West Indies and America, to the 
coast of Africa. Who but God himself has called and 
elected this germ of Christianity to a great work of duty 
in the land of their fathers ? And what more facile and 
effectual means could the Episcopalians of this country 
use than this, that is to seize upon this movement to 
plant their own phase of Christianity in villages and 
towns along the coast, and in the interior of Africa? 

Does any man doubt this assertion of distinctive 
providence? Come, then, with me for a moment to the 
West Coast of Africa — take your position, say at Sierra 
Leone ; run your eye along the whole line of the coast, 
from Gambia to the Cameroons, and watch that steady, 
quiet, uninterrupted emigration of cultivated colored 
men, who are coming over from Jamaica, Antigua, Bar- 
badoes, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and Demarara ; many of 
them men who have " ate their terms" at the Inns of 
London ; some graduates of Edinburg, St. Augustine's, 
Canterbury, Codrington College, and other great schools 
— coming over to the West Coast of Africa, and be- 
coming merchants, planters, postmasters, government 
officials, lawyers, doctors, judges, and blessed be God, 


catechists and clergymen, at British settlements in 
Western Africa ! Then 'go down two hundred miles to 
the Republic of Liberia, and see there 14,000 black 
emigrants from more than half of the States of America; 
and see there, too, how that God, after carrying on His 
work of preparation in the black race in America in dark, 
mysterious and distressful ways, has at length brought 
out a " remnant of them and placed them in a free Re- 
public, to achieve high nationality, to advance civiliza- 
tion and to subserve the highest interests of the Cross 
and the Church ! 

I have rested this matter, this evening, almost, if not 
quite, entirely, upon the one single point, that is, 
THE EVANGELIZATION OF Africa. I can present and 
urge it upon no lower, no inferior consideration. I 
recognize the need of Trade, Agriculture, Commerce, 
Art, Letters and Government, as the collateral and in- 
dispensable aids to the complete restoration of my 
fatherland. That man must be blind who does not see 
that. But they are but collateral and auxiliary; not 
the end, and aim, and object of that divine will and 
providence which the Almighty has been working out 
by the means of institutions and governments, by afflic- 
tions and sufferings, and even oppressions, during the 
course of centuries. 

God moves along amid all these appliances, and car- 
ries them along with Him, in His sweeping march; but 
merely as instruments to that sublime purpose which 
presides over all things in heaven and earth — His own 
glory ! And I see it here, in this dark and dreadful 


history of my race — that history which has frenzied 
many a soul, and made many a man an infidel, because 
they could not see " God's hand" upon the black man; 
at first retributive — and now restorative; but by and by 
honoring and glorifying ! And I regard it a wonderful 
providence that God has victoriously triumphed and 
brought this wronged and insulted black race, both here 
and in the Antilles, into a state of partial fitness for a 
great destiny ; as well in the lands of their birth, as 
there, across the ocean, whither hundreds of them are 
now emigrating. 

It is all God's work ; and to Him be the glory ! 
While for two hundred and forty years the brutal hand 
of violence has been at the black man s throat, G^has 
been neither blind nor quiet. He has seen it all — He 
has been moving, too, amid it all, latent and restrained 
in power; although atrocious and repulsive as it has 
ever been to Him. To use the words of another — 
"The ways of God are not confined within narrow 
limits; He hurries not himself to display to-day the 
consequences of the principle that He yesterday laid 
down ; he will draw it out in the lapse of ages, when the 
hour is come."* Yes, the Omnipotent has ever been 
present amid all the agonizing details of African history 
this two centuries and a half past ! His eye has been 
set upon this gross wickedness ; and His hand, too, has 
been moving, with those potent, plastic, masterful fingers 
of His moving amid all the gross corruption and the 
persistent tendencies of this monstrous crime of human 

* Goizot's " General History of Civilization," Lecture ist. 


bondage; thwarting its fell purpose; warding off its 
deadly blows ; covering the heads of its crushed vic- 
tims ; changing the damning intents of its willful agents ; 
neutralizing its accursed influences ; pouring in light 
amid its Egyptian darkness ; breathing His blessed 
Spirit in the midst of its poisonous vapors ; in the 
very region of death granting ministrations of life, from 
earth, sea, skies, and green fields, from the human heart, 
and from His own glorious face; until this poor people, 
as by a mighty resurrection, have come forth from this 
dark charnel-house to fulfill a grand destiny, and to 
accomplish a great history ! 

And as God has thus clearly, plainly, distinctly set 
before us His great plans and purposes, I bow with sub- 
mission and joyful acquiescence to His most manifest 
will, and would fain hold it up for recognition. The 
whole of this movement to Africa is evidently designed 
for the regeneration of that continent. Rightfully it be- 
longs to Christianity : its possession by the devil is an 
usurped possession. The agency of Christian black 
men, emigrants and missionaries, is to bring it back to 
its Divine owner, as a precious jewel in His diadem. 

Other reasons, perchance, may be given for emigra- 
tion to Africa ; but I doubt much whether they can stand. 
Some which have been urged have already fallen, never 
to rise again. It has been pressed as a remedy for the 
evils of slavery ; but slavery in this country has passed 
away without this as its cure. It has been urged on 
the ground of the supposed inevitable conflict of two 
races, living in juxtaposition; but the black race, four- 


teen millions in number, is, without doubt, a permanent 
element in all the lands of their past thraldom forever ; 
in Brazil, America, the West Indies. And so this rea- 
son for emigration falls. 

Such ideas seem to me too narrow for the large mind 
of our God, that is, as the basis of one of His most 
majestic schemes ; and so are they too, for the great 
minds who have been long carrying on this grand enter- 
prise for the good of Africa ; and who, through cultivated 
society and regulated nationality, would help to reclaim 
and elevate a whole continent ! And, indeed, the depor- 
tation of the whole Negro race, in this land, is not a ne- 
cessity, nor a requirement, considered with respect to 
the end just referred to. God does not work out His 
great ends in this manner. It is by " remnants" that 
He achieves the marvels of His providence and His 
grace. It is " the called," " the elect," " the chosen," 
few, indeed, they may be, whom He selects and puts in 
fit places, and sets to their proper work, for His own 
glory. So, in His providence, He scattered abroad the 
Jews ; placed remnants of them in " Parthia, and Media, 
and Elam, in Messopotamia, in Cappadocia, in Pontus 
and Asia, in Phyrgia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, Lybia 
and Rome, in Crete and Arabia ; * and they lived in 
those distant places, and became, as it were, indigenous 
in them. And so, when on the day of Pentecost, the 
Holy Spirit came down upon them, they were fitted, 
both spiritually and nationally, to plant God's church 

* Acts ii. 9 — ii. This topic is most fully and clearly stated in the Life and Epistles 
of St. Paul, by Conybeare & Howson, (vol. I, chapter I,) in remarks on " Prepatation in 
the Empire for Christianity," and the " Dispersion of the Jews in Asia, Africa," &c, 



at their several homes ; in the very midst of the pagans 
by whom they were surrounded : one with those pagan 
people, in language, and habits, and national traits and 

Just so, that is, by fragments, " remnants" of English 
society, in the seventeenth century, this western world 
was peopled. Mr. Palfrey tells us that the emigrants 
from the old country to New England, during the first 
hundred years of its settlement, did not exceed twenty- 
one thousand persons and from them, mainly, has 
sprung that powerful New England influence which helps 
so powerfully to determine American interests. Just 
so, in the present day, " remnants" of Northern society, 
from New England and New York, venture out upon 
the trackless wilds of the distant west, and spread new 
society abroad to the shores of the Pacific. And just 
so, when a high culture shall have elevated and refined 
the black race in this country ; and when the faith of 
Christ, combining therewith, shall have moved all the 
finer, deeper, more delicate springs of action within 
them, will numbers, nay multitudes of them, rush for- 
ward, inspired by the Spirit of God, to carry the Gospel 
to Africa and to bring that continent in subjection to 
our Lord Jesus Christ ! 

Recognize these facts and principles, and this enter- 
prise becomes a grand Christian project, in which good 
men, and angels, and God may work together for the 
Divine glory and the salvation of Africa. On this godly 
basis you can go to the Christian black men of this 
country, already rising tg a sense of manhood and sacred 


responsibility, and address them in some such words as 
these : — " Brethren, there lies Africa in wretchedness 
and misery. She is the withered arm of humanity ! 
She needs the vitalizing power of the faith ! She must 
be brought to life, through the influence of the Gospel ! 
By blood and race, by grace and sympathy, you are 
well fitted for this noble duty. Here, brethren, here, 
in this work of missions, it seems to be the Divine will 
that " for your shame you shall have double.* In the 
evangelization oryour own kindred in Africa, God seems 
about to bestow upon you an honor and dignity which 
shall wondrously contrast with all your past trials and 
indignities; yea, make them almost oblivious. Here, 
in this exalted duty, ye children of Africa, is to cul- 
minate the dark and mysterious history of your race for 
more than two centuries !" Just this, in effect, was the 
language of the Presbyterians to the freedmen of Jamaica, 
at the time of their emancipation ; and they started up, 
in obedience to the call, and went out, with their wives 
and children, as missionaries to the Cameroons, to 
Fernando-Po, and to the Calabar ; and some of them 
are still laboring on the West Coast among their heathen 

Just such was the language of the Bishop of Barbadoes 
to the black population of that island ; and black mis- 
sionaries, clergymen and laymen, have gone to the 
West Coast and established the Pongas mission. 

So, in like manner, here, when prejudice departs from 
this country ; and the black man rises to the full dignity 

* Isaiah Levi. 7, 


of his manhood ; and his paler brother appreciates him 
as a man, a fellow-citizen, and a brother; just so, I say, 
will Christian men of all names in this land, see his re- 
markable fitness for this last great work of God and 
man — the redemption of a continent ! 

Then, when men's souls can no longer tolerate the 
abominations of African paganism; when their hearts 
are sickened at the dishonor done to Christ by th^ 
gross heathenism of a whole continent, then the white 
man will acknowledge the value and the worth of the 
black man, in God's economy, as a noble instrument 
for the highest services ; the black man himself will feel 
the tenderest sensibility for the land of his fathers. 
From your schools and churches scores of African 
teachers, and ministers, and Christian mechanics will 
offer themselves for the work of God in Africa. The 
glory of Christ, and not the expulsion of the Negro, will 
prompt the noblest charities ; prospective villages, well 
furnished and equipped, will start up from the midst of 
your then cultivated freedmen. Men, chosen of God, 
will come forward and band themselves together to go 
and possess Africa for Christ. In goodly companies 
will they speed their way across the ocean to evangelize 
a continent. So great, ere long, will be the spontaneous 
zeal and earnest pressure, that the ordinary facilities for 
emigration will fail, and voluntary ardor will prove the 
only means of meeting a great necessity, and of answer- 
ing a high duty. And then, in a sense far deeper and 
more real than ever he thought of when he uttered them, 
will the words of Henry Clay be realized — " That every 



ship-load of emigrants from this country will be a ship- 
load of missionaries, carrying the Gospel to Africa !" 

And even now, the time, it seems to me, has come; 
"the day is at hand ;" and all the great obstacles to the 
redemption of Africa are well nigh removed ; the wide 
door of saving opportunity is opened ; and now good 
men everywhere should seize the " staff of accomplish- 
ment," and enter in at once, and claim that continent 
for their Lord. 





May 14th, i8go. 


THE ceremony in which we have taken part this even- 
ing seems to me of more than ordinary importance be- 
cause of its historical associations. St. Thomas Church 
was founded in 1794, in the episcopate of the venera- 
ble Bishop White. It was the first Church of our Faith 
that was ever planted among people of negro blood on 
this continent. Its first pastor was himself a Negro, 
and the very first Negro admitted to the ministry of our 
Church in America. It is also a remarkable fact that 
he was likewise the second Negro who, since the dis- 
covery of Columbus, had had opened to him a passage 
to the ministry of the Anglican Church. 

In the year 1765 a Negro candidate, a native of the 
Gold Coast, West Africa, was ordained by the Bishop 
of Exeter; and he was the^r^ Negro in modern times 
admitted to the priesthood of this Church. Absalom 
Jones, the first rector of St. Thomas' Church, was the. 
second. St. Thomas' Church, however, was the first 
African Episcopal Church set up on this continent. 
Unless I make a great mistake, there is something in- 
structive, something worthy of notice, something pa- 
thetic in the reminiscence. 


The period when these occurrences took place was at 
the very first passage of the Negro, in this land, from 
bondage to freedom. He had been held for more than 
a century as a chattel, with hardly a word of dissent 
from any quarter against servitude as his fit and normal 
condition. But just at this time there was a simulta- 
neous movement in the sentiment of the one race, and 
in the manly aspiration and spontaneous manhood of 
the other, which may be regarded as extraordinary. It 
was like the meeting of two tides. It was like the con- 
currence of the hour and the man. The black men of 
this vicinity all of a sudden sprang to a consciousness 
of manhood and responsibility; and organized them- 
selves into a society of " Free Africans," for the vindi- 
cation of their rights, for the purpose of a high morality, 
and for freedom in the worship of Almighty God. 
When one considers that these men had scarcely be- 
come loosed from chains and fetters ; that a large ma- 
jority of them were ignorant of the simplest rudiments 
of education ; that their movement was the outcome of 
their untutored purpose and ambitions, it may well be 
regarded as remarkable. 

Equally remarkable is the other fact that, precisely at 
this time, Philadelphia philanthropists of that day, 
chiefly members of the Society of Friends, and not a 
few Churchmen, began murmurings of discontent against 
the degradation of the Negro, and to demand his edu- 
cation and his civil and religious freedom. 

The two streams ran in one channel. The move- 
ment of the " Society of Free Africans" developed on 


their part into the organization of St. Thomas' Church, 
and the purchase of the old site from which you are 
now emigrating; and the church was built by your 
fathers thereon. It was all their own work and their 
wondrous energy, and the praise which belongs thereto 
should never be forgotten. 

It was at this time generous Churchmen of that day 
— Bishop White, the Rev. Dr. Abercrombie, and not a 
few laymen — came to this humble people with the best 
gifts of the Gospel and the Church. They came and 
said to them, in effect : " Here is this Anglican Church, 
with its ministry, the Bible, the Prayer Book and its 
Liturgical Service. It is the very best gift we feel that 
we can offer you. In our opinion the Christian world 
has nothing comparable with this system. Just as we 
use it we give it to you. We offer you no mutilated 
Offices. We present you no shreds and patches of our 
Service. Such as our fathers, for long generations have 
had, we give unto you. We think that as it has nur- 
tured, strengthened and elevated our race, so it will lift 
up, sanctify and save you." 

In all this we have a great fact based upon great 
principles : 

(a) There is something of magnitude in the fact that 
more than one hundred years ago, in the thriving days 
of slavery, the Churchmen of this city could rise* above 
themselves and common opinion, and put themselves 
so thoroughly in accord with a despised and rejected 
people, and covert for them the very best gifts of the 
Anglican Church. It shows great magnanimity that, 


despite the prejudices of the time, they should graciously 
elect a simple and unlettered man of this race ; freight 
him with the prerogatives and the elevation of the 
priesthood ; and then put him in a place of duty and 
responsibility among his people. 

(b) But great as is the fact, still greater are the prin- 
ciples which gave birth to that fact. It is first the prin- 
ciple of brotherhood. It was an age when both the 
Slave trade and Slavery were dominating American so- 
ciety ; but even then neither of these pernicious systems 
could extinguish the great idea of the oneness of hu- 
manity and the common manhood of the black race. 
The recognition of these great principles led to anxious- 
ness for the spiritual blessedness of a neglected people. 

(f ) The spring of this idea of brotherhood was the 
deeper principle of Christian love. It was, from all 
that I have read and gathered concerning these trans- 
actions, the love of God and the love of souls for whom 
Christ died that led to the largeness of their Christian 
anxiousness and their generous gifts. It was from this 
Divine principle, acting on the hearts of those noble- 
minded Churchmen, that St. Thomas' Church sprang 
into existence. And this was the spring from which 
has ever since flowed that stream of beneficence to the 
black race in this neighborhood which characterizes 
Philadelphia. Nowhere else in this nation has there 
ever been done so much for this race as in this city. 
Here churches, schools, almshouses, homes for the aged, 
asylums for the crippled, with endowments, have been 
created, for well nigh a century. Not a year passes — 


sometimes month by month, but what legacies are left 
of hundreds and thousands of dollars for the temporal 
and spiritual benefit of the colored people of Phila- 

From the facts to which I have referred there spring, 
my brethren of St. Thomas' Church, great responsi- 
bilities. And next to the idea of God the idea of re- 
sponsibility seems to me the grandest and most elevat- 
ing. It always brings to right-minded men the superior 
convictions which are allied to moral obligation. It im- 
poses the burdens of Duty; and, next to the angels of 
heaven, no other creatures of God are capable of such 
trusts save beings of our kind and our nature. 

This idea of responsibility stretches out, in its reach, 
to the Almighty, on the one hand, and to our fellowmen 
on the other. It brings to us the consciousness of 
trusteeship and the office of stewards. The function in 
which we have taken part this evening is a declaration 
of your responsibility to both God and man. It is not 
simply a ceremony. It is a living and real thing. It 
is a confession of stewardship. We have received 
from Almighty God certain gifts of His providence and 
grace ; and we set forth the fact of an acknowledged 
trusteeship therein. 

We lay this corner-stone, then, as a token and a 
pledge that what we have received we will, under Divine 
grace and guidance, transmit to our successors and de- 
scendants. The responsibility in this matter is of three- 
fold order, frequently set forth in our formularies, *'. e. } 
of Doctrine, Discipline and Worship : 


(i) We declare to-day that we hold, and intend to 
hold, constantly and steadfastly the Faith once for all 
delivered to the saints. This is a pledge for ourselves, 
personally and individually, God helping us. At the 
same time we do not regard ourselves as though we 
were separate atoms of sand or grains of wheat. We 
have distinctly in view that law of organic unity, which 
looks before and after, and which binds, as well, a 
Church as it does a family or a nation ; in the future as 
in the past. So we propose to hold the Faith as an 
abiding trust for ourselves and our followers, by the 
grace of God. That Faith is the great doctrine of 
grace summarized in the Creeds, elaborated in Articles, 
Services and Offices. It is declared more explicitly in 
the great fundamental truths of the Incarnation of the 
Son of God ; in His one person the message and the 
messenger, in our flesh, of God's wondrous solicitude 
for the rescue of a lost world ; the Atonement of Jesus 
Christ by the gift of His own life-blood, for the return 
of overflowing life to a world dead in trespasses and 
sins ; the Resurrection of the Lord of life from the dead 
— a sign and a proof of the majesty and power of Jesus 
in the domain of the spirit-world, and of the victory 
over death, which, as the head of humanity He gives to 
man; the Gift of the Holy Spirit, as the abiding pres- 
ence of the great God of heaven, in the hearts and 
homes and societies of men ; sanctifying them to the 
grandest purposes of this lower life, and to advance, by 
grace, to the fitness for the life that is everlasting. This 
Faith we have been privileged to receive, and this Faith 


it is our duty to hold. But what is it " to hold" ? Is 
it the passive subsidence of certain ideas in a sleepy- 
brain? Or, on the other hand, is it the placid abid- 
ance of truth in torpid souls? 

To hold the Faith of Christ, my dear brethren, is 
that operative assent of the spirit of man which stimu- 
lates the faithful to the living service of the Lord of 
life. It is that genuine deposit of the truth of Christ 
into the deepest personal convictions of the soul which 
quickens it into life ; the fusing of these personal con- 
victions with the glowing intensities of our personal be- 
ing, both inward and outward ; and then the outflow of 
these convictions and intensities in the zealous acts of 
propagation, whereby the truth of Christ shall reach the 
souls of men, as well in distant quarters as in our fami- 
lies and neighborhoods. To hold the Faith of Christ 
is a reproductive and regenerating faculty — not a dead 
thing, — producing the fruits of righteousness to the 
praise and glory of God's grace. 

(2) Such a reception of the faith in Christ carries 
with it and demands godly Discipline. In this, too, we 
are trustees of God. It is a large word ; and it covers a 
very wide area ; and circles the whole orbit of moral 
existence ; and brings a regulative principle and power 
into all the details of human habit and human custom. 
If it were a mere technical word, relating simply to rites 
and ceremony and observances, it could hardly touch 
the inner springs of our nature. But Discipline is a 
large element in the very life of true believers, a grand 
condition of their personal power and influence, and a 


necessary agency for the progress and triumph of the 
Gospel In an age when liberty is not seldom taken to 
mean license, we are able to take the yoke of Jesus upon 
ourselves as a token of our loyalty to truth and order; 
and to bear its sacred burden, not simply as a means of 
restraint, but as a grand agency to that glorious liberty 
of the sons of God which comes, to both angels and 
men, by subjection to law. It is a priceless boon to us, 
my brethren. In our ancestors and their history we 
were taught, unwillingly and crushingly, the Discipline 
of Slavery and Caste. It is our privilege now, with the 
franchises of the State, and with the high teachings of 
God's Church, to learn for ourselves and our children, 
the noble Discipline of freedom. The conviction of 
stewardship and responsibility in this trust will fit us to 
carry healthful influences into every condition of life, 
and to aid in holding and strengthening all the stable 
structures of society. 

(3 ) We shall have the largest help in this steward- 
ship of the Faith and Discipline of the Church by a 
constant remembrance of the duty of Worship. In 
this feature of our trust we get strength — strength for 
all duties, all responsibilities, all obligations. By acts 
of Worship, moreover, we constantly remind a thought- 
less world of the reality of the invisible world ; of the 
presence of Divine and heavenly things amid temporal 
concerns and earthly relations ; and, above all of the 
reign and sovereignty of Jesus Christ in the societies, 
the businesses, and the trades of men. 


After well nigh one hundred years the good people 
of St. Thomas'. Church are about beginning a new life. 
They turn, at this juncture, from old conditions and 
circumstances into another, and I trust, a higher groove 
of existence.. If they turn into this new state with a 
sense of satisfaction, with feelings of mere self-gratula- 
tion and delight — with this and nothing more — then 
you may be certain that imbecility will' be the history 
of your future, and emptiness your fortune and your 
fate. But if on the other hand, you bring to your new 
surroundings and position the deep conviction of 
trusteeship and responsibility, then there can be no 
measurement of your gracious and exalted life; no 
calculation of your holy influence ; no limitation of your 
beneficent and saving power. The reproductive and 
saving power of the Holy. Spirit will then surely be the 
indwelling operative force in all your service and your 
Church life; enabling you to do great things for the 
glory of the Master and the souls of men. The lanes 
and the alleys of this section will be quickened, in 
numerous degraded families, into spiritual life and 
power. The sick and diseased in degraded courts and 
in dark and stifled garrets, will be cheered and re- 
animated by the succors and assistances of your faithful 
and devoted messengers of mercy. Boys and girls, 
now lapsing into heathenism through the neglect of 
vicious parents, will be brought to fill your Sunday- 
schools. Your broad aisles and your open pews will 
be crowded with anxious seekers of the salvation of 
Christ. There will be such an overflow of life and 


spiritual zeal that this Church will touch other quarters 
of this great city with your re-duplicated Church life. 
Nay, more than this, through the sense of responsi- 
bility and trusteeship, you will, I hope, become a living 
power, far beyond the borders of Philadelphia life; 
even to many a humble Chapel among our brethren in 
the South, and to the missions of the Church on the 
coast of Africa. 

What is Said of It. 

Historically accurate, and clear and 
pleasing in style.— C. A. Simms, Chan- 
cellor Syracuse University. 

No good Methodist should be without 
a copy.— Ira D. Sankey. 

The reader never tires as he is led*on 
over the sparkling pages.— C. A. Payne, 
Sec'y Board of Education M. E. Church. 

Histories we have had, but the Story 
has never before been told. It will be 
read eagerly by the family around the 
fireside.— Prof. Chas. W. Bennett, North- 
western University. 

Full of interesting matter, in very read- 
able shape.— Bishop Fowler. A delight- 
ful story.— Frances E. Willard. I can 
safely commend it to all.— Bishop Vincent. 
Heaven speed this book and bless its 
author.— Bishop Mallalieu. It ought to 
be in every Methodist home.— Bishop 
Bowman. As fascinating as a romance yit 
true as history.— Bishop Harris. Not a 
dull page.— Bishop Warren. Will not be 
set aside as a story that has been told.— 
Bishop Merrill. Interesting and valua- 
ble.— Bishop Andrews. Merits a place in 
every home.— Bishop Walden. May its 
sales reach the million line.-Pres. Warren, 
Boston Univ. It is grand. I read nothing 
else until I had gone through it with care. 
—Bishop Wm. Taylor. An interesting 
story for all our people.— Wm. Nast, D.D. 
The perusal of it affords me both pleasure 
and profit. I am deeply affected with the 
candor with which you write of Free 
Methodism. — Bishop B. T. Roberts. I 
have read it with satisfaction and profit.— H. A. Buttz, Pres. Drew Theol. Seminary. 
To it Dr. Hyde has brought the lore of a life-time and the study of fifty years.— David 
H. Moore, Ed. Chicago Christian Advocate. A wonderful Story, simply and graphically 
told. — Wm. Rice, Librarian, Springfield, Mass. I am in full spmpathy with it. — S. G. 
Nelles, Chancellor Victoria University, Cobourg, Canada. 
The engraving, printing and binding are up to the times and subject.— Bishop McTyeire. 
Entertaining, instructive and impartial. — Bishop Keener. In every Methodist family 
it should have a place on the center-table — Bishop Granbery. Interesting, instructive 
and useful. — Bishop Duncan. Admirable; every true Methodist will want it. — Bishop 
Key. Impartial and candid. — L. C. Garland, Chancellor Vanderbilt Univ. My own 
children, eight and ten years old, are delighted with it. I have read some parts twice. 
—Gross Alexander, Prof, in Vanderbilt Univ. It is v writable history with all the fasci- 
nation of a story. — Bishop Fitzgerald. Lively and graphic. A valuable addition to our 
historic literature. — W. E. Cunnyngham, S. S. Ed. M. J.. Ch., South. Charming, not 
doll, nor tedious nor partisan, but fair to all. — Atticus G. Haygood. Admirable. — 
Charles F. Deems. Is distinguished by freshness and recent investigation.— Christian 
Advocate, New York City. 

A wonderful story. A rich means of grace. — Zions Herald. Without a rival for his- 
torical compactness and illustrations. — N. W. C. Advocate. This marvelous story is 
told with freshness and vigor and wonderful condensation. — Canadian Methodist Maga- 
zine. It is like music to the soul. — Buffalo Christian Advocate. It covers all Metho- 
dist history and brings it down to the presenv day. — Pittsburg Christian Advocate. It 
treats with equal fairness all branches of Methodism. — Methodist Protestant, Baltimore. 
He is the fairest of any Northern author we'iave ever read. — The Episcopal Methodist. 
Baltimore. This narrative is pleasing to the mind and the mechanical execution pleasing 
to the eye. Heaven speed it. — Christian Advocate M. E. Ch. South, Nashville. It can 
be used to rest on while working. — Alabama Christian Advocate. To all who want a 
compact, true history of the whole Methodist Church we say buy Hyde's Story of Meth- 
odism.— Southern Christian Advocate. Eureka! It is happiest embodiment of at- 
tractions both for young and aged we have ever seen.— The Holston Methodist. 
Will be delivered free in the various styles of elegant binding: 

(D) Full Seal Grain Morocco, gilt side and back, rolled gold border, gilt edges, #5-75 
(H) Half Seal Grain Morocco, gilt back, with plain side title, marble edges, 4.75 

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Spkingfield, Mass. 

WILLEY & CO., Publishers. 


n?S^ Bfro ^ e w loS P primi?t^ » r ° W 1 n °, ctavo Volume of nearly 600 pages,